Cristiano Ronaldo did not attend Monday’s FIFA awards gala as his longstanding rival Lionel Messi lifted his sixth World Player of the Year gong, but why did the Juventus superstar snub the ceremony?
Many thought Virgil van Dijk would claim FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player of 2019, but it was Messi, who went home with the illustrious trophy instead.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, was once again absent from the awards gala, despite being named in the official FIFA FIFPro World XI.
Instead, Ronaldo was at home resting and posted a picture of himself reading at around the time Messi was announced as winner of this year’s award.
“Patience and persistence are two characteristics that differentiate the professional from the amateur,” said the message, which accompanied his post.
“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.”
Earlier on Monday, Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri explained that Ronaldo will be rested for his side’s trip to Brescia on Tuesday.
“Cristiano has a little fatigue to the adductors. I don’t want to take any risk with injuries,” the Italian said.
Ronaldo teammate Matthijs de Ligt, though, did travel to the FIFA awards gala in Milan, which is just around one hour away from Turin.
It is not the first time that Ronaldo snubs the awards, as he was already absent during last year’s ceremony when Luka Modric lifted the accolade.