Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has responded to reports emerging about the three man shortlist for the Balon D’or. Reports emerged that Portuguese playmaker Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona prodigy Lionel Messi failed to make the three man shortlist for the individual prize with Raphael Varane, Luka Modric and Kylain Mbappe in the final list.

Ronaldo fired former employers Real Madrid to a third consecutive UEFA Champions league triumph and has won the individual prize for two consecutive years, taking his overall tally to five, but Tuttosport suggest the former Real Madrid and Manchester United man is not in contention for the third successive award.

However Old Lady Tactician Allegri is of the opinion that the Portuguese player deserves the accolade.

“I don’t know anything about the Ballon d’Or nominations but, for all Cristiano has done, he would deserve it,” Allegri told a news conference.

Ronaldo is set to be paired alongside Mario Mandzukic in attack against SPAL after Paulo Dybala returned late from international duty with Argentina.

“[Dybala] came back on Thursday, he had a relaxing morning and we’ll see,” the coach said. “He will probably start from the bench. We will likely play Mandzukic and Ronaldo.

“Football is not an exact science but it is about chemistry: Ronaldo and Mandzukic, when they are together, have an excellent understanding. Even Paulo and Ronaldo are fine, but they have played together less.

“I like them a lot even when they’re all three together. The team works well in every way. It depends on the availability of the players. We are on the right track, but we must continue to play to get to know each other better.”