Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini has suggested that Real Madrid prevented Cristiano Ronaldo from winning the Ballon d'Or last year because the Portuguese star no longer played for the La Liga club.
Ronaldo signed for the Serie A champions last summer from Los Blancos, and ended up finishing second behind his former teammate Luka Modric, who also won the Golden Ball at the World Cup.
Chiellini and Ronaldo were at a Serie A awards ceremony in Milan on Monday night, as Barcelona's Lionel Messi picked up a record sixth Ballon d'Or in Paris - moving him one ahead of Ronaldo.
While Chiellini stated that Messi did deserve to get his hands on the Ballon d'Or this year, he appeared to suggest a conspiracy in 2018 to prevent Ronaldo from winning.
"Cristiano won the Champions League, [but I suppose] by that logic Van Dijk should have won it this year.
Modric lifted the Champions League in the 2017/18 season alongside Ronaldo, but also went on to win Golden Ball at the 2018 World Cup, with Croatia eventually losing in the final to France.
The Croatian became the first Ballon d'Or winner to not be nominated for the prize the following year after enduring a disappointing season for Real Madrid.
With Messi and Van Dijk finishing first and second respectively this year, the other eight positions in the top ten of the voting were taken up Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Kylian Mbappe, Alisson Becker, Robert Lewandowski, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez.
For a full breakdown of the results, see here.