Cristiano Ronaldo was the most notable absentee at Monday’s Ballon d’Or awards ceremony, where his great rival Lionel Messi scooped his sixth trophy to put him one ahead of the Juventus star.
Ronaldo eventually finished third behind Messi and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk in the 2019 nominations list, but according to his agent Jorge Mendes, there remains no doubt about who is world’s greatest ever footballer.
While the rest of the world’s footballing royalty were in Paris to see Messi, Megan Rapinoe, Alisson Becker and Matthijs de Ligt lift the four Ballon d’Or accolades, Ronaldo had travelled to Milan to pick the award for Serie A’s best player at the Gala del Calcio.
At the event held at the Megawatt di Milano, the Portuguese striker was accompanied by his partner Georgina Rodriguez and his agent Mendes, who was asked about Cristiano’s absence from the Ballon d’Or gala.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is the best ever and you know it,” Mendes told reporters.
Juventus sports director, Fabio Paratici, also praised Ronaldo at the Serie A awards ceremony, saying the Bianconeri striker “deserved the Ballon d’Or”.
He added: “We’ve always said it. The rankings for these awards are always debatable.”