A former Equatorial Guinea national team captain has claimed his Ballon d’Or votes were changed.
Juvenal Edjogo has said his votes for the 2013 Ballon d’Or were changed to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 43-year-old, who spent the bulk of his career in the Spanish second division with teams like Sabadell and Levante, was eligible to vote for the 2013 award as captain of the Equatorial Guinea national team.
However, in an interview with Spanish network Gol Play, Juvenal alleges that he voted for ex-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta – not Messi or Ronaldo.
“What little I can say about this type of award is that in 2013, I voted for my three players for the Ballon d’Or and sent my votes. In the end, when it was made public, the list of who voted for who, my votes were different,” Juvenal said.
“It said I voted for Messi, Cristiano, and I don’t know who else, but I didn’t vote for any of them. That’s why I say, I don’t believe in absolutely anything about those awards.”
“Since then, I’ve thought these awards have no value,” Juvenal added.
The 2013 Ballon d’Or award went to then-Real Madrid star Ronaldo. Messi, who played for Barcelona then, finished second in the voting. Former Bayern Munich and Fiorentina winger Franck Ribery completed the top three.
Ronaldo and Messi have since won multiple Ballon d’Ors. Ronaldo has claimed the award on a further three occasions. He now has five trophies to his name. While Messi has won it a record seven times. The Paris Saint-Germain star is the current favorite for the 2023 edition after leading Argentina to 2022 World Cup glory.