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Lionel Messi admits Cristiano Ronaldo success in Ballon d’Or ‘hurt’ him

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 Lionel Messi admits Cristiano Ronaldo success in Ballon d'Or 'hurt' him

Lionel Messi has admitted he was ‘hurt’ when Cristiano Ronaldo equalled his collection of five Ballon d’Ors having moved ahead of his great rival once again.

The Barcelona and Argentina star won the prestigious best player accolade for a sixth time – and for the first time since 2015 – at a glittering ceremony in Paris on Monday night.

Also read: Cristiano Ronaldo earns £38m from Instagram, double the money rival Lionel Messi earns on the platform

It broke a spell of recent dominance by Portugal and Juventus forward Ronaldo, who had won four of the five editions between 2013 and 2017 before Luka Modric broke the duopoly last year.

Messi was rewarded for a fine 2019 and admitted afterwards that he was motivated by a desire to stay ahead of Ronaldo in their tallies of individual honours.

‘On the one hand, I like being on five and being the only one,’ Messi told Marca. ‘When Cristiano matched me, I admit that it hurt a little, I was no longer alone at the top.

‘But at that time Cristiano had merit for winning the Ballon d’Or and I did not. I could do much more.

‘Team titles are the most important, although individuals have great value. As far as the Ballon d’Or is concerned, everyone lives in their own way.

‘Of course, at the highest level in sport, you always want to win.

‘I understand why Cristiano did not win this year. Neither of us met the aim of winning the Champions League and that is the competition that gives more opportunities to take the Ballon d’Or.

‘When Cristiano Ronaldo was winning the trophies it was because he had very good seasons and won the Champions League, being decisive.’

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