Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini says Cristiano Ronaldo was robbed of the Ballon d'Or last year... by former club Real Madrid.
Luka Modric won the prize in 2018 after helping Madrid win the Champions League and leading Croatia to a World Cup final, where they lost to France.
Ronaldo had also been part of that Madrid side which were crowned kings of Europe, before leaving that summer for Italian champions Juve.
“Ronaldo was really robbed of the Ballon d'Or last season when Real Madrid decided to make sure he couldn't win it and that was really weird,” Chiellini said.
Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or this year on Monday night at a ceremony in Paris. It was the sixth time the Argentine has won it, lifting him clear of Ronaldo (five) in the all-time history of the award.
Chiellini had fewer complaints this time around: “This season, it was more balanced. With all due respect, Modric even in his best season of his career didn't deserve it. That was a signal from Real Madrid, as they wanted to stop Ronaldo winning it.
“He won the Champions League, but by that logic, (Liverpool defender Virgil) Van Dijk should've won it this year, or last year (Antoine) Griezmann, (Paul) Pogba or (Kylian) Mbappe for doing extraordinary things at the World Cup. Modric made no sense.”
Ronaldo did not attend this year's Ballon d'Or gala, despite being one of the four finalists. Van Dijk came second after Messi, with Ronaldo third Liverpool's Sadio Mane fourth.