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Lionel Messi has broken his silence and revealed his feelings on finishing fifth for the 2018 Ballon d'Or.
Luka Modrić won France Football's prestigious prize in Paris on 3rd December, which ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi's decade-long dominance over the award.
Speaking to Marca, the Barcelona star was asked about his thoughts on finishing fifth in the shortlist.
"I listened to the Golden Ball nominees and I knew I would not be in the fight," he said.
It could not be more of a humbling response from the 31-year-old Argentine magician.
It was a shock to many fans that both of the five-time Ballon d'Or winners missed out on the opportunity to break the deadlock and secure a record sixth win.
Ronaldo finished in second place for the Ballon d'Or, while Antoine Griezmann came third and Kylian Mbappé was fourth.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid player issued a challenge to Messi to come and play in Italy.
While the Barça forward declined the challenge, he did talk about his relationship with the 33-year-old Portuguese footballer.
"The rivalry with Cristiano was very healthy and very beautiful for the viewer," he explained.
Unlike Messi, the Juventus star believes that he should have beaten Modrić for the award.
"I think I deserve [to win the Ballon d'Or] every year," he told the Italian press (via Goal).
"I work for that, but if I do not win, it's not the end of the world.
"The numbers do not lie, but do not think that I'm less happy if I do not win.
"I have fantastic friends and I have family, I play in one of the best clubs, do you think I'll go home and cry?
"[I am] disappointed but life goes on and I will still work hard.
"Congratulations to Modric, he deserves it, but next year we will see each other again and I will do everything to be still there."
Should Messi have won the Ballon d'Or?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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