Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence from UEFA’s Champions League awards ceremony on Thursday attracted a great deal of attention.
The Juventus star was nominated for the main prize – the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year honour – but finished second to Luka Modric.
There hasn’t been an official explanation for Ronaldo’s absence, but all signs suggest he skipped the ceremony after discovering that he wasn’t going to win the main award.
Ronaldo’s absence becomes even more hard to understand when his subtle dig at Barcelona’s players, including Lionel Messi, in 2017 is recalled.
The Portuguese star wasn’t impressed that Messi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez all skipped The Best FIFA Football Awards in January 2017.
Ronaldo was the clear favourite to beat Messi to the main award. And, after collecting the gong, he made a point to reference the absence of Barcelona’s players during his acceptance speech.
“I’m sorry that some people from Barcelona aren’t here with us and that’s understandable but thank you to everyone,” Ronaldo said.
Barcelona fans never forget!
Ronaldo teased following his absence from the awards ceremony.
The year was 2017. Messi didn’t attend the gala as we were to play Bilbao the next day. Cristiano won the award and made a patronizing comment about players not attending the Gala. Hmmm https://t.co/ZxuzfaPFvZ
— Sooraj (@Sergixta) August 31, 2018
When Ronaldo threw shade towards Messi and Barcelona for not attending the Fifa #TheBest awards in 2017, but proceeds to do the same when his own former “teammate” in Modric, won the UEFA POTY. Absolutely zero shame. pic.twitter.com/biPZ8qZqOj
— Rohan (@Rohandinho_) September 1, 2018
According to ESPN, the 33-year-old was due to take a private helicopter to the ceremony in Monaco.
But it was leaked to Ronaldo that Modric was going to win the Player of the Year award – and he never boarded the helicopter.
Ronaldo’s friends and advisors tried to convince him to attend but he wouldn’t change his mind.
It’s a real shame if ESPN’s report is true. Modric has enjoyed a phenomenal year and it would have been magnanimous of Ronaldo to be present to congratulate him.