Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos and Los Blancos legend Iker Casillas have both insisted that Lionel Messi did not deserve to win the Ballon d'Or on Monday night.
News that Messi had won this year's Golden Ball has not gone down well with some who believe that other players were more deserving of the award, such as Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema and Mohamed Salah.
The Poland striker did win the inaugural Striker of the Year accolade but missed out on the big prize, while the Real forward and the Egyptian superstar finished in fourth and seventh place, respectively.
Here are all the award winners from the 2021 Ballon d'Or awards ceremony, as well as the top 10 for the men's prize
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitted on Tuesday that he was surprised by Salah's position in the top 10, and also hinted that he was unsure that Messi should have won it.
Los Blancos star Kroos has now openly criticised the decision to hand Messi the award, which was decided by votes from selected football journalists from around the world.
"It's absolutely not deserved," the German midfielder said on his podcast, per the Daily Mail.
"There is no doubt that Messi, with Cristiano [Ronaldo], has been the player of the last decade, but this year there should've been others ahead of him."
Legendary former Spain shot-stopper Casillas also made it clear he felt the Paris Saint-Germain star should not have won the prize.
"It is increasingly difficult for me to believe in football awards," the 40-year-old said.
"Messi is one of the best but you have to know who is the most outstanding player after the season.
"It's not that hard."
Here are 16 stunning records Messi holds, per UEFA