Valverde: Messi finishing fifth in Ballon d'Or 'absurd'

Massimiliano Allegri

Massimiliano Allegri

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has branded Leo Messi's Ballon d'Or snub as "absurd".

Messi is a five-time victor of the prize and shared the previous 10 with long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo but saw Real Madrid's Luka Modric top the 2018 poll on Tuesday (AEDT).

The 33-year-old's triumph ended Messi's and Cristiano Ronaldo's decade-long reign, with the Juventus' Portugal striker finishing second and Messi fifth in a vote by 180 journalists.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the "deserved" victor of the 2018 Ballon d'Or and will use the second-place disappointment as motivation to become the first Juventus player to lift the award since Pavel Nedved in 2003, according to his manager.

"I think he deserved to win the Ballon d'Or for what he did with Real Madrid, winning the Champions League", he told reporters, as quoted by FourFourTwo.

Messi, a five-time Ballon d'Or victor, led Barca to a La Liga-Copa del Rey double last season but Argentina went out of the World Cup in the last 16 to eventual champions France.

However, Messi is not expected to feature.

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