Andrea Pirlo is one of the many great players who fell victim to the success of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and never won the Ballon d’Or.
The two greats have won the prestigious individual award in 12 of the last 13 times it has been awarded.
Luka Modric halted his run in 2018, while the 2020 prize was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Messi returned this year to win his seventh prize and now has two advances over Ronaldo.
At his best, legendary Italian midfielder Pirlo was unplayable and won numerous league titles, Champions Leagues and the World Cup.
But he was repeatedly forgotten for the Ballon d’Or and remembered watching the 2012 edition in his book.
It was his best shot when he was tipped by many to be in contention for the award alongside Andres Iniesta after the pair reached the Euro 2012 final.
His reaction in his autobiography summed up exactly what he thought of the prices.
Pirlo wrote: “I don’t even watch the awards show properly even if it’s only once a year and I could really put in the effort. I’ll have Sky Sports in the background and move on.
“The first time I finished seventh I could hear FIFA President Sepp Blatter rambling in the distance. The same guy whose obvious aversion to Italy had led him to delegate what he considered a horrible task to bring us the World Cup in 2006.
“I don’t care what they were about to reveal. It could have been Fatima’s fourth secret or Blatter’s first. We did not sit down to hear the results.
“Messi won. What a surprise.
“It was an inveterable, indisputable result. I thought the World Cup and the Champions League are worth a lot more than the Ballon d’Or, but I didn’t say it out loud.
“Otherwise, I must add that I won both when Messi has not yet managed the World Cup. I would sound like an arrogant snob and that’s something I’m really not.
“Ronaldo came in second. Really? Iniesta third.
“A few months before, Iniesta had been named player of Euro 2020. Before the final against Spain, the guys from UEFA told me that” you are the best, but we will only give you the prize if Italy wins. ”Needless to say, we lost 4-0.
“The big news was that the top two places both went forward. Very much in line with the way the world as a whole ranks the importance of different positions.
“The very big mistake some club presidents make is not realizing that it’s another story when it comes to building teams.”
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