Ballon d'Or: Former Juventus star Benatia believes Ronaldo deserves award over Messi

Ballon d'Or: Former Juventus star Benatia believes Ronaldo deserves award over Messi

- Ballon d'Or 2019 should be awarded to Cristiano Ronaldo according to Medhi Benatia

- The former Juve defender believes Lionel Messi crashing out of Champions League at semifinal stage has reduced his chances

- Ronaldo has scored 26 goals in all competitions this term, compared to 48 Messi has scored so far

Former Juventus star Medhi Benatia believes Cristiano Ronaldo has done well to win this year's Ballon d'Or award ahead of his arch rival Lionel Messi.

Both stars, who have won the prize five times each will not be in the final of the UEFA Champions League next month, following their failures to help their sides progress to the last stage.

Ronaldo's Juve crashed out at the quarterfinal stage after losing 3-2 on aggregate to Ajax, while Barcelona were knocked out by Liverpool at the semifinal stage this month.

Sportskeeda however reports that the 32-year-old defender claims Messi's chances to win the prize have been reduced owing to his side ouster from the European elite championship.

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When asked who deserves the award, Benatia said: "Ronaldo? He deserves to win the Ballon d'or according to me. We first have to wait and see who wins the UCL.

"Messi? He had an incredible season. He would deserve it too but with Liverpool beating Barcelona, I think this reduced his chances."

Last year, Croatia captain Luka Modric won the prestigious award after helping his national team reach the World Cup final but lost to France at the end of regulation period.

It was the first time a neutral person outside of Messi and Ronaldo clinched the prize since 2008 when the duo first won it.

Modric also played crucial role in helping Real Madrid claim three consecutive Champions League titles.

Meanwhile, barely one season after joining Juventus, Ronaldo helped the Old Lady to their eighth consecutive Serie A title, and has scored 26 goals in all competitions for the Juve this season.

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Messi, on the other hand guided Barcelona to yet another La Liga title but like Ronaldo, he failed to inspire his team to European glory.

He has scored 48 goals in all competitions for Barcelona this season and will look to increase his tally when he faces Valencia in the Copa del Rey final.

Legit.ng earlier Real Madrid superstar Luka Modric has been named the winner of the 2018 Ballon d'Or award in Paris on Monday night, December 3.

The Croat beat competitions from beating Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah to win the prize.

Meanwhile, this will be the first time since 2008 that another player will be crowned the best player apart from Messi or Ronaldo.

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