What Ronaldo was doing as Messi won FIFA Best Player Award
Cristiano Ronaldo missed out as Lionel Messi was named FIFA Best Player of the Year for the sixth time on Monday night.
The Barcelona superstar took the award ahead of his long-time rival and Liverpool’s defensive rock Virgil van Dijk.
Messi, who won La Liga last season as well as the European golden boot, last won the award in 2015.
His win was something of a surprise, given Van Dijk had been expected to take the crown following his role in the Reds’ Champions League success.
The Dutchman had also taken UEFA’s best European player award last month.
But Messi took the honours at the La Scala Opera house in Milan - with Ronaldo conspicuous by his absence.
The Portuguese superstar wasn’t even named by hosts when the FIFPro World XI was announced, with the 34-year-old treated as persona non grata and no mention being made that one of the eleven was missing.
Ronaldo’s absence had nothing to do with Juventus’ fixture against Brescia on Tuesday night in Serie A.
Ronaldo will miss that encounter due to injury, Maurizio Sarri confirmed on Monday and has not been named in their travelling squad: "Cristiano has a little fatigue to the adductors. I don't want to take any risk with injuries.”
Even if he had been fit, it wouldn’t have been an issue.
Juve teammate Matthijs de Ligt was also named in the world XI after his performances for Ajax last season; he was given permission to attend by Bianconeri chiefs, despite being in the squad for Tuesday’s fixture.
Ten minutes after the ceremony ended in Italy, Ronaldo took to Instagram to show off what he’d been upto away from the event - seemingly immersing himself in a book while son Cristiano Jr appeared to be doing his homework.
He also offered up a few words, although it isn't quite discernible whether he is talking about his not being victorious, or his current thigh injury.
"Patience and persistence are two characteristics that differentiate the professional from the amateur," wrote Ronaldo.
"Everything that is big today has started small. You can't do everything, but do everything you can to make your dreams come true.
"And keep in mind that after night always comes dawn."
Seemingly Ronaldo just elected not to attend, before deciding on the philosophical declaration that "after night always comes dawn."
Even when he's not the focus, he's always capable of making himself spoken about.
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