Despite being among the three candidates for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, Cristiano Ronaldo failed to show up to the gala in Milan, something which has angered football’s governing body.
Onn Monday afternoon, FIFA staff had taken Ronaldo’s presence at the award show as a given for what promised to be a special gathering of the very best in the sport.
However, as time passed, the absence of Ronaldo became more evident, and gave an indication that Leo Messi would be scooping the top prize as opposed to Virgil van Dijk who had been the favourite ahead of the awards.
Given the fact that Ronaldo lives just 150km from Milan raised even more questions about the Portuguese star’s decision to not show up.
When the time came to announce the FIFA FIFPro World XI, it became clear that Ronaldo would not be making an appearance, as his name was not even read out despite featuring in the team of the year.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino made no secret of his disgust at Ronaldo’s absence as he spoke of Messi fully deserving the award and that he had finally gained the top prize in the men’s game.