Lionel Messi was awarded his sixth Ballon d’Or on Monday night, but the Argentinian and his record aren’t the most commented topic after the event.
In fact, the biggest absent of the ceremony, Cristiano Ronaldo, has been getting a lot of attention in recent hours, despite losing the award and not even attending the gala.
Before the start of the ceremony, one of the candidates to win the prize, Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, joked with Ronaldo’s absence at the event, something that wasn’t seen with good eyes by the Portuguese's sister.
When asked if Ronaldo’s failure to show up meant that he had one less rival to compete with for the accolade, Van Dijk responded: "Was he a rival then?”
Ronaldo's sister Katia Aveiro hit back at the Dutch defender with a lengthy Instagram post, expressing his belief that the center-back wasn’t on the same level as his brother.
"Now, dear Virgil, where you are going, Cristiano Ronaldo has gone and has come [back] a thousand times," she began."You see, my dear Virgil, that Cristiano Ronaldo was a three-time champion in the country where you have been playing for years and you still haven't got your hands on the trophy."Cristiano Ronaldo was even the best player and best scorer in the country where you play Virgil. By the way, he was even younger than you."Then, dear Virgil, Cristiano Ronaldo went to other places and became the greatest player in the history of club football."Real Madrid, [does that] tell you something, Virgil? Maybe so, because this club, with this Cristiano guy, even beat you in the Champions League final. Of these [Ballons d'Or], Ronaldo already has five, Virgil."And that fellow Ronaldo, and team-mates, crushed your 'Oranje' in a final. Was it hard, Virgil? We have pity. And, dear Virgil, in one of the least successful times of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo has won even more titles than you. Awesome, isn't it?"Now Virgil, [you go and] win titles that really count and then we'll talk. When you have a handful of them, the really important ones, you might be able to sit at the table with Cristiano. Or, as they say in our land, it grows and appears! For me, Cristiano you are and you will always be the best player in the world!!!"
Van Dijk, meanwhile, clarified his words after being mentioned by Piers Morgan on Twitter, making it clear that he was just joking.
It’s normal to see people getting so offended nowadays, but as Virgil said, it was all a joke and not a personal attack to CR7, who preferred to attend a different event in the same city yesterday.