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Ex-Real Madrid star believes he should have won Ballon d'Or over Lionel Messi

John McDougall

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Ex-Real Madrid star believes he should have won Ballon d'Or over Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has won a remarkable eight Ballon d'Ors during his glittering career - but one former Real Madrid player believes the Argentine magician ought to have one award fewer.

Messi has been crowned the best player in the world more than any other in the history of the game.

The now Inter Miami star picked up the award for an eighth time this year, winning the accolade ahead of Manchester City's Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain.

Most of Messi's Ballon d'Or triumphs came when he was at Barcelona, the club where he achieved his greatest club success.

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Back in 2010, Messi claimed his second Ballon d'Or, with all three top spots occupied by Barcelona stars.

Messi's then teammates Andres Iniesta and Xavi were second and third respectively that year as the Catalan club experienced a period of success under Pep Guardiola.

But recently, a former Real Madrid star who was listed in that year's Ballon d'Or ranking has claimed that he should have won the prize instead of the Argentine attacker.

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That player is none other than now retired Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who was with Italian side Inter Milan in 2010.

Lionel Messi and Wesley Sneijder. (Credit: Getty)
Lionel Messi and Wesley Sneijder. (Credit: Getty)

Sneijder spent two seasons at Real Madrid before moving to the San Siro in 2009, and that season saw Inter win a memorable Treble under Jose Mourinho.

As well as claiming the Serie A title and Coppa Italia, Inter won the Champions League that year following victory over Bayern Munich in the final - and beating Messi's Barcelona along the way in the semi-final.

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Sneijder has now reflected on that year's Ballon d'Or award and it is clearly still a subject he feels strongly about, believing he ought to have won the prize ahead of Messi, after being voted fourth overall.

Speaking to Egyptian channel Alhayah TV (via Diario AS), he said: "It was a little unfair that I didn’t win the 2010 Ballon d’Or and Messi did.

"But, I’m not a guy who cries about that. The Ballon d’Or is an individual award, and I prefer to win collective trophies.

“If I had to choose between the Champions League and the Ballon d’Or, I would choose the Champions League I won, I’m very happy with that title."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Lionel Messi, Barcelona, Ballon d'Or, Real Madrid, Inter Milan

John McDougall
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