Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has officially been named the best player in Serie A last season, a few hours after Lionel Messi beat him to a record sixth Ballon d’Or crown.
Ronaldo did not attend the glitzy Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris on Monday and instead attended the annual Gran Gala del Calcio in Milan, where he was honoured for his successful maiden campaign with Juve.
He scored 21 league goals in 2018-19 to help the Bianconeri to an eighth successive Scudetto and has six goals in 11 starts this term, despite injury issues curtailing his playing time over the past month.
“It is a proud moment to win this award,” Ronaldo said upon collecting the award, which was won by Mauro Icardi, then of Inter, 12 months ago.
“I want to thank my Juventus team-mates. It was my first year in Serie A, a difficult league, and I am very happy. Thank you for voting for me.
“I will now try to repeat what I’ve done over the next year.”
Ronaldo has been struggling with a knee injury in recent weeks and reacted angrily to being hauled off in wins over Lokomotiv Moscow and Milan last month.