With Lionel Messi set to take a step ahead his rivals, Ronaldo, the Argenine, according to UK newspaper, Mirror confessed he was “hurt” after Cristiano Ronaldo matched his tally of five Ballons d’Or by clinching the award in 2017.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward, 34, set a record many believed could never equalled by winning the coveted golden ball trophy for four consecutive years while at Barcelona between 2009 and 2012 before adding his fifth in 2015.
But Ronaldo responded to his great rival with a flurry of four gongs in five years at Real Madrid between 2013 and 2017 to take his total to five, adding to the Ballon d’Or he won while a Manchester United player in 2008.
Messi took great pride in his record count of five awards and he admitted it was difficult watching the Portugal icon, 36, gradually catch up to him.
The Argentina captain eventually edged ahead once again by winning his sixth Ballon d’Or in 2019, and after his success he opened up on his angst two years earlier.
“On the one hand, I appreciated having five and being the only one to do so,” Messi said.
“When Cristiano levelled me, I have to admit that it hurt me a bit. I was no longer alone at the summit.