Lionel Messi speaks out about finishing fifth in the Ballon d'Or vote

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When it was revealed that Lionel Messi had finished fifth in the 2018 Ballon d’Or, the football world couldn’t quite believe it.

Barcelona may have been knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage, while Argentina crashed out of the World Cup in the last-16, but Messi has still scored 51 goals in 2018 for club and country.

Not to mention the fact he produced a number of dazzling performances as he led Barca to La Liga and Copa del Rey glory.

And when you consider that Messi hadn't been outside the top-two in the Ballon d’Or vote since 2008, football fans just assumed the Argentine would definitely be on the podium.

Instead, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe all received more votes than him.

But since that day, it’s almost as if Messi has been trying to make the Ballon d’Or rankings look even more stupid than they already did.

Messi has made three starts since the vote and has scored six goals.

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It’s fair to say he’s done his talking on the pitch after the Ballon d’Or vote.

Well, that’s until now.

In an interview with Spanish outlet Marca, Messi was asked about his placing in the Ballon d’Or and was, as you’d expect, humble as ever.

“I listened to the Golden Ball nominees and I knew I would not be in the fight,” Messi admitted.

Very gracious indeed.

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Incidentally, Ronaldo’s reaction earlier this month after finishing second was slightly different.

"I think I deserve [to win the Ballon d'Or] every year," the Juventus star said.

"The numbers do not lie, but do not think that I'm less happy if I do not win.”

In his interview with Marca, Messi went on to speak about his relationship with Ronaldo saying: “The rivalry with Cristiano was very healthy and very beautiful for the viewer.”

It certainly was, Leo.

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