Ballon d’Or snub will make Ronaldo even better, says Allegri
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri sent an ominous warning to their rivals by claiming the decision not to award Cristiano Ronaldo a sixth Ballon d’Or award will spur him on to hit new highs this season.
With Luka Modric crowned as the best footballer in 2018 at Monday night’s gala, it proved the first time since 2007 that neither Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi have not won the award, The Independent reported.
Ronaldo claimed four Ballon d’Or wins while at Real Madrid – as well as his first with Manchester United – though his move to Juventus has not caused the goals to dry up having netted 11 times already this season.
However, Allegri believes that the snub this week will only go to spur him on to even greater levels this season, which should come as a warning to the rest of Serie A and their Champions League opposition.
“I think he deserved to win the Ballon d’Or for what he did with Real Madrid, winning the Champions League,” Allegri told reporters.
“At the World Cup with Portugal honestly he couldn’t go any further [than the round of 16]. Therefore, I mean, he deserved it.
“But I think that this can be a motivation to do even better this season and win the next Ballon d’Or with Juventus.”
A Juventus player has not won the Ballon d’Or since Pavel Nedved claimed the award in 2003 – with Gianluigi Buffon finishing second three years later – and while Buffon left the club in the summer to join Paris Saint-Germain, he believes the arrival of Ronaldo reinvigorated the rest of the club and prevented more following him through the exit.
“For me, it was time to say ‘enough’,” Buffon said at the Ballon d’Or ceremony this week.
“Juve probably felt others could’ve left and that the only way to reawaken everyone was buying Cristiano.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde described Messi’s fifth-place finish in the Ballon d’Or vote as “absurd”.
It is the first time Messi has finished outside the top three since 2006, with Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe all finishing ahead of him.
And while Valverde was reluctant to give his full verdict on the result, he conceded that seeing Messi down in fifth was difficult to comprehend.
“I’m not going to get into that, whether it’s right or wrong how an award ended up,” he said.
“I think the people who voted for it have to answer that. Everyone has their own opinion. To us it’s absurd.
“We congratulate Modric on his win.”