Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has claimed that it was Real Madrid who stopped his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo from winning the 2018 Ballon d’Or.
Ronaldo had just won the Champions League when he left Real Madrid for Juventus and it was that same year that he saw his former teammate Luka Modric sweeping the awards as he was left empty-handed.
The five-time winner was again left empty-handed in 2019 as Lionel Messi picked up his sixth Ballon d’Or award to go one ahead of his rival.
While Chiellini believes Messi deserves it, he believes that Real Madrid rigged the 2018 edition so one of their players would win it/
"It's ok that Messi has won the Ballon d'Or this year," Chiellini said according to the Daily Mail.
"The real theft was last year, Real Madrid decided that Cristiano should not win the Ballon d’Or. It was really strange.
"Cristiano won the Champions League, [but I suppose] by that logic Van Dijk should have won it this year.
"Maybe last year Griezmann, Pogba or Mbappe should have won for doing extraordinary things at the World Cup. Modric made no sense."
Ronaldo finished in third place in the voting for the 2019 Ballon d’Or behind Messi and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.