Ballon d’Or 2021: Ronaldo to snub ceremony with Messi set to win


Manchester United forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, will be absent at Monday night’s Ballon d’Or ceremony.

Ronaldo, who has won it five times in the past, will not travel to France for the awards.

His eternal rival Lionel Messi is set for his seventh gong.

Ronaldo was benched for United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at the weekend and with new Red Devils interim manager Ralf Rangnick officially announced on the day of the Ballon’s ceremony, perhaps Ronaldo feels training is more important.

With United facing Arsenal this Thursday, the club potentially have a lot of preparation to get through.

No one has been nominated more than Ronaldo, who has been up for the award 12 times.

The Portuguese first won the Ballon d’Or in 2008, following Manchester United lifting both the Premier League and Champions League. A year later, Ronaldo became the most expensive player on Earth when he moved to Real Madrid.

Ronaldo then had a little while to wait before he lifted it again. Messi swept the award four years in a row during Barcelona’s peak under Pep Guardiola – with Ronaldo reclaiming the gong once more in 2013 and 2014.

Messi won the Ballon d’Or once more in 2015 during Barca’s treble-winning season, before Ronaldo scooped it in 2016 and 2017, as Portugal won Euro 2016 and Real Madrid won two Champions Leagues. Ronaldo has been in the top three every year since 2011.

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