Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has joked that there should be a separate Ballon d’Or award just for Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have scooped the prestigious individual accolade 11 times between them in the last 12 years.

He suggested there could then be an award that everyone else actually has a chance of winning and it would be ‘better for football’ in Ramos’ eyes.

Sergio Ramos

Luka Modric in 2018 is the only player other than Ronaldo or Messi to have won the Ballon d’Or since 2007. Even Virgil van Dijk’s monumental 2019 wasn’t enough for the Dutchman to topple Messi, who was presented with a record-breaking sixth Ballon d’Or this month.

“They could make a Ballon d’Or just for Cristiano and Messi depending on the results...and another for the rest. In the end it would be better for football,” Ramos joked as he sat down for an interview with retired striker Ivan Zamorano for Spanish language network TUDN.

Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Wesley Sneijder, Franck Ribery, Neymar and the aforementioned Van Dijk are among the exceptional players who have been denied a Ballon d’Or by the duo’s history-altering brilliance and consistent dominance.

Ramos himself might even have been in contention, having finished sixth in the final 2017 vote.

The era might be coming to an end, though. Ronaldo will celebrate his 35th birthday in February, while Messi will be 33 soon after this season is over.


Yet both remain driven by being the best. It has been rumoured that Ronaldo has privately confessed to a handful of former Real Madrid teammates that he has ‘regret’ over leaving the club. Not because he is unhappy at Juventus, but because he is said to believe he would have had a better chance of winning the Ballon d’Or in the last two years had he stayed put.

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