Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus teammate Giorgio Chiellini has accused Real Madrid of denying the legendary forward the Ballon d'Or last year. 

Luka Modric, who shouldered Croatia to their maiden FIFA World Cup final in 2018 and won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, claimed the prestigious award presented by France Football. Modric's win meant, he had ended a decade in which Messi and Ronaldo had won the Ballon d'Or five times each. 

Ronaldo, who moved from Real to Italian club Juventus in the 2018 summer transfer window, had finished as the runner-up at last year's ceremony to his former teammate. 

This year's Ballon d'Or, which was presented Monday night in Paris, saw Lionel Messi lift the trophy for the sixth time. That allowed the Argentine to go one ahead of Ronaldo's five titles.

While Ronaldo finished in third place, after Messi and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, the Portuguese star chose to miss the glamorous ceremony and instead attended the Gran Gala awards where he was honored with the Serie A player of the year title. 

Cristiano Ronaldo, Ballon d'Or Cristiano Ronaldo picks up the FIFA Ballon d'Or award from FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Photo: Reuters

Speaking at the Ballon d'Or 2019 event, 35-year-old Chiellini was brutally honest as he said, "the real theft was last year."

"It's ok that Messi has won the Ballon d'Or this year. The real theft was last year, Real Madrid decided that Cristiano should not win the Ballon d’Or. It was really strange. Cristiano won the Champions League, [but I suppose] by that logic Van Dijk should have won it this year. Maybe last year Griezmann, Pogba or Mbappe should have won for doing extraordinary things at the World Cup. Modric made no sense," Chiellini added. 

The top 10 at the Ballon d'Or 2019 included four Liverpool players with van Dijk at second place followed by the duo Sadio Mane (fourth) and Mohamed Salah (fifth) and goalkeeper Alisson becker at the seventh spot. The other top 10 candidates were PSG's young talent Kylian Mbappe (sixth), Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (eighth) and Man City duo of Bernardo Silva (ninth) and Riyad Mahrez (10th).