Cristiano Ronaldo insists Ballon d’Or and The Best awards are “losing credibility” after Lionel Messi wins

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Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted that football’s top individual prizes, the Ballon d’Or and The Best, are “losing credibility”.

The now-38-year-old ended 2023 as the top goalscorer in world football, scoring a whopping 54 goals for Portugal and Saudi Pro League outfit Al Nassr during the calendar year – outscoring the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland in the process.

Despite his goalscoring exploits, the legendary striker wasn’t nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award nor The Best award, with both being given to his long-term rival Lionel Messi instead.

Messi lifted both awards thanks to his stunning performances during the World Cup in Saudi Arabia, a tournament in which he inspired Argentina to their first win of the competition since 1986.

Al-Taawoun v Al-Nassr - Saudi Pro League

Ronaldo wasn’t nominated for either award / Yasser Bakhsh/GettyImages

Speaking to Record, Ronaldo was keen criticise both award ceremonies, hitting out at the voting panels for not including him on the list of nominees for 2023:

“Ballon d’Or and The Best are losing credibility,” said Ronaldo.

“It’s not to say that Messi didn’t deserve it, or Haaland or even Mbappe… but the numbers are there and the numbers don’t deceive. You have to consider the entire season.

“The numbers are facts. If you go back and see what happened at Manchester United and the national team, people actually considered me lost… But the truth is that I focused and had a great period at Al Nassr, that’s why I scored 54 goals”.

The forward has now not won one of football’s top individual awards since 2017, having previously lifted The Best and the Ballon d’Or gongs on an impressive seven occasions. The only player to win both awards more times is Messi, with the diminutive forward winning both a combined 11 times.


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