Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is alleged to have privately confessed ‘regret’ over leaving Real Madrid as he feels he would have had a better chance of winning a sixth Ballon d’Or had he stayed in the Spanish capital, rather than moving to Italy.

Ronaldo left Real for €100m in 2018 after nine years at the Bernabeu. He had won four his career Ballon d’Or awards in the space of just five seasons between 2013 and 2017, but has since seen great rival Lionel Messi scoop a record sixth gong.

Lionel Messi

Having spent half his 2018 with Real, winning the Champions League, and half with Juve, Ronaldo was in contention for that year’s Ballon d’Or. He finished second behind ex-Real teammate Luka Modric, but in 2019 he was a distant third behind Messi and Virgil van Dijk.

Despite winning Serie A with Juve and the UEFA Nations League with Portugal in 2019, Ronaldo’s debut season in Italy saw him play his fewest number of club games since the 2009/10 campaign. He also netted his fewest number of club goals since his time in Manchester.

The start of Ronaldo’s 2019/20 season also hasn’t been up to his usual blistering standards of old, while the 34-year-old has additionally had to contend with niggling injuries.

Cristiano Ronaldo

A report originating from ABC in Spain has claimed that Ronaldo, while seemingly settled in Turin, has admitted to unnamed former Real teammates that he thinks he could have won the last two Ballon d’Or awards had he stayed in Madrid.

That, rather than being unhappy at Juve, is the source of his supposed ‘regret’.

Whether that would have been the case will never be known. But, without their talisman last season, Real stumbled and fell seriously short of challenging in La Liga or the Champions League.

Soon to celebrate his 35th birthday, Ronaldo’s chance to overtake Messi as the player with the most Ballon d’Or awards in history may now have passed him by.

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