This week, the two main Madrid-based sports dailies, Marca and AS, have both covered Cristiano Ronaldo’s overt absence from the FIFA Gala taking place in Zurich on January 13, which includes the presentation of the Ballon d’Or award.
The Real Madrid forward is particularly unhappy with what he perceives as bad treatment from world football’s governing body FIFA, who present the Ballon d’Or award in conjunction with France Football Magazine.
AS reports that the final nail in the coffin of this relationship came after FIFA released the player profiles ahead of the Ballon d’Or, with Argentine Lionel Messi and France’s Franck Ribery, the other main candidates for the prize, both allegedly receiving more favourable write-ups.
This comes just a month after FIFA President Sepp Blatter made disparaging comments about Ronaldo while giving a talk at Oxford University in October.
Blatter not only praised Messi and voiced his support for the Barcelona ace to get the award, but also seemed to mock Cristiano’s on-field movements.
AS further reports that Blatter has made several attempts to get in contact with Ronaldo to clarify his Oxford comments, but has been rebuffed by the Madrid forward who insists that the damage is done and there is no way back.
This has been further compounded by Ronaldo’s refusal to attend the gala in January, which Blatter had targeted as an opportunity for a face-to-face reconciliation.
In light of Ronaldo’s refusal to attend, FIFA last week announced an increase in the number of finalists from three to five, seen by AS as an attempt to avoid the prestige of the award being diluted as a result of Ronaldo’s absence.
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