Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo should have won the FIFA Best Player award on Monday night.
The Portuguese superstar eventually finished third in voting behind Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.
That’s despite winning a Serie A title with Juventus and the UEFA Nations League with Portugal, and so there is certainly a strong argument in his favour.
Paratici has pointed to those achievements, as although he stressed his respect for Messi and his own feats, he believes that Ronaldo deserved the award more so, perhaps with a little bias creeping into his answer given his ties with the Juventus talisman.
“We are also disappointed over the award last night, while still respecting Messi, who is a great player, but we think and thought that after last season, having won the Nations League, Serie A, and the Italian Super Cup, having played a great Champions League, he deserved this award,” he is quoted as saying by Corriere dello Sport.
Debate will undoubtedly rage on over who deserved it more, with Van Dijk also enjoying a stellar campaign as he won the Champions League with Liverpool.
Nevertheless, it is certainly hard to ignore Ronaldo and his achievements this past year for both club and country, and so it was a surprise to see him finish third in the voting results.
Having opted not to attend the awards ceremony in Milan despite being in Turin this week, that was undoubtedly a huge hint that he wasn’t going to win and so he’ll likely use that as motivation to come back even better this season and take the award back next year.