Ballon d'Or 2019: Lionel Messi defends Ronaldo for snubbing awards gala

Ballon d'Or 2019: Lionel Messi defends Ronaldo for snubbing awards gala

Fred Kennedy
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:42 PM
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- Lionel Messi holds no beef for Ronaldo's no-show at the 2019 Ballon d'Or awards ceremony

- The Barcelona skipper was crowned the award's winner in Paris ahead of his arch-rival

- The 32-year-old has now won the award a record six times

Lionel Messi has jumped into the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo following the Portuguese's decision to give the 2019 Ballon d'Or awards ceremony a wide berth.

The two football greats were gunning for the prestigious individual prize, leading a 30-man shortlist that included Virgil van Dijk.

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But it was Messi who emerged victor, clinching the gong for a record sixth time -one ahead of Ronaldo who finished third.

The Barca superstar beat Van Dijk who was ranked second by a whopping seven points to ink his name in history books.

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However, Ronaldo was conspicuously missing from the ceremony hosted on Monday night, December 2, in Paris, with Messi using the occasion to defend the man he has battled his entire career.

The Argentine ace insisted Ronaldo's absence should not be twisted, adding the jamboree was great all the same.

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"He's not here because he couldn't be here," Messi noted when asked about Ronaldo's no-show.
"It shouldn't be twisted. We enjoyed a great gala," the Barca hitman added.

Meanwhile, it has since emerged Cristiano missed the occasion as he was in line to pick the Serie A Player of the Year award in a separate event held in Milan on the same night.

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Fred Kennedy
Fred Kennedy has a Bachelor's degree in journalism (Daystar University), currently working as a Sports Editor. He has more than five years of experience in digital journalism.