The organisers of the Ballon d’Or ceremony next month face a ‘problem’ on convincing ?Cristiano Ronaldo to attend this year’s event, after it was widely reported this week that the top prize would go to his rival Lionel Messi.
34-year-old Ronaldo has won football’s most prestigious individual award five times, a record which he shares with Argentina star Messi.
Votes submitted to organisers France Football by journalists around the world were counted earlier this month, while it has been claimed that Messi has already been informed that he has won, a week in advance of the gala ceremony.
Champions League-winning defender Van Dijk is expected to finish second in the voting, leaving Ronaldo to settle for third.
According to ?Mundo Deportivo journalist Francesc Aguilar Ronaldo – who has finished in the top two every year since 2011 is ‘upset’ at finishing behind Van Dijk.
While Aguilar’s tweet claims the organisers are still trying to convince Ronaldo to attend, the Portuguese forward has form for snubbing award ceremonies.
Ronaldo skipped the FIFA Football Awards ceremony in Milan back in September after he placed third in ‘Best Men’s Player’ category behind Messi and Van Dijk, captioning an Instagram post you can’t do everything’ at the time of the event.
He controversially didn’t pick Messi in his top three for the award either – instead opting for Matthijs De Ligt, Frenkie De Jong and ?Kylian Mbappé.
Messi and Ronaldo have dominated won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for over a decade, with only Croatian midfielder Luka Modric breaking their duopoly in 2018. Neither Messi nor Ronaldo attended the ceremony last year for Modric’s win.
Ronaldo left Real Madrid for ?Juventus last season and registered an impressive tally of 28 goals in 43 games as the Old Lady racked up a domestic treble.
However, Messi scored an incredible 51 goals in 50 games as he went on to win a 10th La Liga title and reach the Champions League semis