Giorgio Chiellini was happy for Lionel Messi to win this year's Ballon d'Or, but the Juventus defender blasted the "theft" that meant Cristiano Ronaldo missed out in 2018.
Barcelona star Messi claimed the prize for a record sixth time on Monday, beating Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Ronaldo.
It came a year after Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric ended the 10-year dominance of Messi and Ronaldo, but it was that decision that upset Chiellini.
"It's OK the Ballon d'Or for Messi this year," the Juve captain told Sky Sport Italia at the Gran Gala del Calcio awards in Milan on Monday.
"The real theft was last year. Real Madrid decided that Cristiano should not win the Ballon d'Or. It was really strange."
Chiellini added: "Real didn't want him to win because he was no longer one of their players."
Ronaldo joined Juventus from Madrid in July last year, and was on Monday named the Serie A player of the year for 2018-19.
Juve and Ronaldo are yet to get to their best this season, now sitting a point adrift of leaders Inter through 14 Serie A games.
"I said that the real Juve will be seen at least from January. We need time," Chiellini said.
"We started very well with a great month and a half, then we suffered a bit of physiological decline, but the results weren't missed.
"Without the draw against Sassuolo [on Sunday], we would talk about super Juve."Published 03 Dec 2019, 06:08 IST