Argentina legend, Diego Maradona, has admitted it “hurt his soul” to hand over the award for Men’s Best Player to Cristiano Ronaldo and not his compatriot, Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo won the prize for the second year running on Monday at an event in London, beating off competition from Messi and Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar.
Maradona and former Brazil international, Ronaldo, presented the award to the Portugal captain.
“To give the Best [award] to Ronaldo and not be able to give it to Messi hurt my soul,” Maradona told TyC Sports.
Maradona, who coached Messi while in charge of Argentina between 2008 and 2010, went on to deny reports that his relationship with the Barca star is a bad one.
“The meeting with Messi was fantastic.
“I spoke to him, and the same love and affection was there as always,” he added.