Cristiano Ronaldo won his fourth Ballon d’Or award on Monday, and unsurprisingly, former rival and harsh critic Xavi Hernandez believes his former teammate Lionel Messi deserved the 2016 Ballon d’Or over Ronaldo.
The Catalan midfielder believes the fact that Portugal and Real Madrid won as a team had something to do with him snatching up the individual award.
The Al-Saad midfielder was recently reunited with his ex-Blaugrana teammates during the friendly in Qatar, and took the opportunity to talk about Ronaldo’s win.
Xavi is quoted by Marca as saying: “This year, they cared more about the titles won, whereas in years past it was about the best player.
“Lionel Messi is the best of them all, even if the titles were won by someone else.
Earlier this year, Xavi was highly critical when asked to compare the qualities of both Messi and Ronaldo.
He said: “Ronaldo is a player of his time. The problem is that there is another who has been pretty much the best player in history.
“Ronaldo is extraordinary but compared to Messi, for me and for everyone who likes football, there can be no comparisons.
“Messi will be number one until he wants [to stop]. He’s superior to everyone and is the best in the world, unless you are Real Madrid.”