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Lionel Messi has congratulated his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo on winning the 2013 Ballon d’Or.

Asked in the post-ceremony mixed zone about losing out to Ronaldo, Messi was magnanimous and said he understood why Ronaldo cried upon receiving the trophy.

“It is a normal emotion at a time of excitement,” Messi said. “I want to congratulate Cristiano because he was the deserved winner.”

When asked why he felt he did not win this year, Messi was reluctant to say.

“I have nothing to say about that. I think it was a good year for all three of us so I have nothing to complain about and no need to make excuses.

“I don’t know if it would have been different without the injuries. It’s true I didn’t get right until the semi-finals of the Champions League and this year I got injured at the beginning of the season.

“But that has nothing to do with this. Cristiano merits the win.”

Messi added that he hoped now to put a hard year behind him and concentrate on a better 12 months to come.

“It was a difficult year, not just for injuries but for things that were said about me and my family.

“Hopefully I can enjoy football in 2014.”

Read the original article on Football Espana – The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Spanish football

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