Argentina superstar, Lionel Messi who was crowned the first-ever player to win six Ballon d’Or trophy has admitted he felt hurt when his arch-rival, Cristiano Ronaldo equaled his Ballon d’or win.
Recall, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who both dominated the Ballon d’Or for a decade between 2008 and 2017, were on five each before he won his 6th yesterday.
The Barcelona star, in an new interview revealed that he was hurt when Cristiano Ronaldo joined him on five Ballon d’Or triumphs, claiming that the Portuguese will be experiencing similar emotions after he failed to show up at the 2019 Ballon d’Or’ ceremony.
“On the one hand, I enjoyed having five and being the only one,” Messi told France Football. ‘When Cristiano moved level, I admit that it hurt me a bit. I was no longer alone at the top. But it made sense, although it was good when I was alone at five.
“Was I frustrated in the last few years? Let’s say I understood why I did not win. As a team, we had not achieved our major goal, which was to win the Champions League, which gives you more chances to win the Ballon d’Or.
“When Cristiano Ronaldo won it is because he had achieved great seasons by winning the Champions League and being decisive. It was deserved, there was not much I could do.
“Did I feel injustice? It’s up to you to tell me if the Ballon d’Or is awarded to the best player or the one who enjoys the best season.
“It is also down to individual taste. Some prefer Cristiano, others myself or Neymar or [Kylian] Mbappe. People have the right to choose the one they like most.”
“Do I understand Ronaldo’s frustration? It is something that we live, feel and express according to our own way of being.
“Once again, the collective titles are the most important thing, even if the individual trophies are rewarding. When the Ballon d’Or eludes you, everyone reacts in their own way. But when you are a top athlete, you always want to win.”