Juventus skipper Giorgio Chiellini revealed that Real Madrid stopped teammate Cristiano Ronaldo from winning Ballon d’Or last year.
The 34-year-old Portugal international completed his £100million switch to Serie A Champions in the 2018 summer transfer window before going on to finish as runner-up to the eventual winner Luka Modric.
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However, Ronaldo has now missed out on the Ballon d'Or two years in a row as Lionel Messi claimed his sixth Ballon d'Or on Monday night moves one clear of his eternal rival with the Juventus forward was nowhere to be seen at the venue of the award in Paris.
The Old Lady captain Chiellini made the claims to Sky Sport Italia during the Gran Gala del Calcio awards on Monday when asked about the decisions he said: "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.
"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 won the Ballon d’Or on five occasions, while Messi now has six, while Modric became the first winner to not even make the shortlist for the next year's award following a disappointing year with Real Madrid.