Cristiano Ronaldo saw eternal rival Lionel Messi walk away with the FIFA Best award for 2019, but those in Portugal have come out in support of a player they consider to be “the best ever”.
The Juventus forward was the inaugural winner of the prestigious prize first handed out by world football’s governing body in 2016.
He won the award again in 2017 but was second to Luka Modric a year later, with the latest gala in Milan seeing Barcelona talisman Messi voted by his peers into first place.
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Ronaldo’s insatiable desire to occupy a standing at the very top of the global game means that there is likely to be a slight sense of disappointment at being beaten by an Argentine counterpart.
He has, however, shown over the course of a remarkable career that he is always up for a challenge and will never back down when required to prove himself all over again on an annual basis.
The 34-year-old has already re-written the record books on countless occasions, while he can still claim to match Messi when it comes to the five Ballons d’Or that they have both collected.
For many, he is the finest player to have ever played the game, with those in his homeland certainly considering that to be the case.
Ronaldo is unquestionably the best player to have ever represented Portugal, with his stunning exploits helping his country to European Championship glory in 2016 and a Nations League crown in 2019.
Over the course of 160 appearances he has recorded 93 goals and is fast closing in on the all-time mark of international efforts currently held by Iran legend Ali Daei – which stands at 109.
Chasing down another record will form part of Ronaldo’s immediate future, with an Instagram message posted during the Best ceremony suggesting that he is already over the awards snub.
He said: “Patience and persistence are two characteristics that differentiate the professional from the amateur.
“Everything that is big today has started small. You can’t do everything, but do everything you can to make your dreams come true.
“And keep in mind that after night always comes dawn.”
In the wake of the Best awards, it was revealed that Ronaldo did not pick Messi within his three votes.
The Barcelona captain did find room for the Portuguese star in his selection, but Ronaldo plumped for Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Kylian Mbappe.