Rivaldo explains why he thinks Cristiano Ronaldo didn't win the Ballon d'Or

Rivaldo has spoken completely honestly about Modric's win

The Ballon d'Or is supposed to definitively answer one question: Who was the best player in the world this year? 

Rather than put that debate to bed, Luka Modric's victory at the 2018 awards ceremony in Paris has only reignited discussions about whether the Croatian midfielder really deserves to be recognised in a tier above Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

A generation has grown up knowing only those two greats as winning the accolade - after all, nobody else has picked up the gong since Kaka in 2007. 

Astonishingly, Messi was ranked all the way down in fifth this time around, with Ronaldo being named the runner-up. 

It's worth noting that there have already been suggestions that the votes weren't tallied up correctly, though nobody should really begrudge Modric - he is a truly special little magician. 

All the same, Ronaldo's relatively low points-score has upset a lot of people within his camp and outside it too. 

Barcelona legend Rivaldo believes the 33-year-old, who has already won the Ballon d'Or a joint-record five times, is right to feel aggrieved given his achievements at Real Madrid before his move to Juventus. 

Rivaldo: Cristiano deserved it 

The Brazilian wrote in his BetFair column: 

"Luka Modric had a great season in 2018, winning the Champions League and helping Croatia to be World Cup final, but if I had to choose, I would vote for Ronaldo.

"The Portuguese scored a lot of goals last season, won the Champions League - scoring a sensational goal against Juventus away from home - and proved his value at the World Cup scoring four times, including a hat-trick against Spain, so I believe that he deserved the award more than anyone else."

Those who voted for Modric may have been inspired by him collecting the Golden Ball at the World Cup, or the role he played in helping his country to the final, where they were beaten by France. 

Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or a joint-record five times

Either way, Rivaldo has suggested that Ronaldo, in particular, was overlooked just for the sake of allowing a new player to win it. 

"Honestly, I can't see why things have changed this time - removing the focus from Cristiano and Messi - because both of them had good seasons," he added. 

"Some people are mentioning that Ronaldo's club change could have contributed to [him] losing the award, but I don't agree with that as most of the decisive moments had already happened when he left Real Madrid to sign for Juventus, so there are no reasons to consider that a handicap.

"I think this change of focus could be an attempt to at least for a year write a different name in the history instead of still mutating from Ronaldo to Messi and Messi to Ronaldo.

"Anyway, I consider that unfair because they had solid campaigns and were decisive on their clubs, so there were no reasons to change that tendency."

If that's true, it really doesn't do France Football - the award's organisers - any favours. 

Should Ronaldo have won Ballon d'Or 2018? Have your say in the comments. 

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