FIFA Best Awards: Ronaldo & Messi set to snub lavish London ceremony
Ronaldo is hoping to make it a hat-trick of awards in the Best Men’s Player category, having won the title in each of the two previous years, and this time round finds himself up against former Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric and Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah.
However, if he does win, the the Portugal star won't be there in person to collect the award as he will miss the ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall due to commitments with club team Juventus.
The prolific forward was on target for his team in their 2-0 win against Frosinone on Sunday evening, and will remain with his club to prepare for Wednesday night’s game against Bologna.
Messi, meanwhile, will not travel to London due to family reasons, according to reports in the Spanish press.
He was snubbed for the Best Men’s Player accolade, but is in the running for the Puskas Award for goal of the year for his strike against Nigeria in the World Cup in Russia - an award Ronaldo is also up for through his stunning overhead-kick for Real against Juventus in the Champions League.
The pair are also among the 55 names in line for the FIFPro World 11 team, which will be named at the ceremony.
Ronaldo and Messi boast 10 Ballon d’Or titles between them, but could find their stranglehold over the top individual honors broken this time around, at least if the recent UEFA Player of the Year award is anything to go by.
That accolade went to Croatia playmaker Modric, and the Real Madrid man could get one over on his former teammate again on Monday night – meaning at least Ronaldo will avoid facing defeat in person.
Other accolades to be awarded are the Best Men’s Coach, which sees World Cup-winning French coach Didier Deschamps go up against his compatriot Zinedine Zidane, who guided Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title last season before sensationally stepping down.
Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic is also up for the award, in recognition for his efforts in guiding his country to their first ever World Cup final in Russia this summer.
In the women’s section of the awards, Norway’s Ada Hegerberg, Germany’s Dzsenifer Marozsan and Brazil’s Marta battle it out for the Best Player title, while France’s Reynald Pedros, Japan’s Asako Takakura and the Netherlands’ Sarina Wiegman face off for the Best Women’s Coach award.
The ceremony kicks off at 7:30pm local time in London (18:30 GMT).