Maurizio Sarri admits frustration that Cristiano Ronaldo has fewer Ballons d'Or than Leo Messi

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Juventus are through to the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia after beating Udinese 4-0 - and they did it without Cristiano Ronaldo. 

The Portuguese was absent through illness, just the fourth time he's missed a game all season. 

The 34-year-old's interpretation of slowing down is somewhat different to the average player. 

Ronaldo is still the second highest goalscorer in Serie A after Lazio's Ciro Immobile and after just 18 months, he's now scored past every active team he's played in the Italian top flight. 

That would suggest there are still plenty of individual accolades for him to achieve before he retires, even if the general consensus is that it's now unlikely for him to win another Ballon d'Or. 

Lionel Messi claimed his sixth Golden Ball in December, in doing so surpassing his eternal rival who has five. 

Ronaldo's last came in 2017. 

With the scales now swung in the Argentine's favour, many feel they will not fluctuate back. 

However, Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri believes Ronaldo is still capable of equalling Messi's tally and hopes to play a small part in his next victory. 

Juventus v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A

"I would like to help Cristiano win the sixth Ballon d'Or first," Sarri told a press conference.

"It's really annoying thinking that someone won more [Ballons d'Or] than him.

"I think about him and I think helping him, it is my goal and the goal of the team. It is right for him."

"Annoying" it may be for Ronaldo's camp, but there was a sense that justice was done when Messi became the only player in history to win number six. 

The Barcelona forward scored 50 goals for club and country in 2019, compared to 39 for Ronaldo. 

While Portugal won the UEFA Nations League and Argentina came up short in Copa America, Messi dazzled with his displays in the Champions League. 

So Sarri may find himself disappointed if the pair continue at their current level. 

If anyone is able to win a Ballon d'Or into their 35th year, it would be Ronaldo, but he would have to have a truly spectacular 2020 to overtake Messi and Virgil van Dijk after finishing third in the most recent voting. 

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