Fans defend Ronaldo after star is accused of SULKING as he loses out in FIFA Best Awards where he was SNUBBED by rival Messi
Ronaldo was beaten into second place by prolific Bayern Munich and Poland forward Robert Lewandowski in the vote for the Best Men's Player accolade, with great rival Lionel Messi down in third.
None of the three stars was present at the ceremony in Zurich, which was held virtually, but FIFA boss Gianni Infantino did make a surprise visit to hand the 32-year-old Lewandowski his prize in person in Germany.
At the moment it became clear the Pole had scooped the award – which comes on the back of a treble-winning season with Bayern in which Lewandowski netted an incredible 55 goals in just 47 appearances for his club – some eagled-eyed fans picked up on Ronaldo's glum expression, as he sat with his arms crossed.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s vibe after losing: pic.twitter.com/PppYAAQhJu— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 17, 2020
Did FIFA force Ronaldo to attend? Maybe FIFA threated to stop the Referee from giving him penalties.Look at his face 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Fu5Fer9VYe— Fuegoleon (@Waffirian_) December 17, 2020
But while some picked up on Ronaldo's clear distaste for defeat, others noted that the Portuguese star had in fact voted for Lewandowski as his first pick in the ballot, selecting Messi in second and Paris Saint-Germain and France star Kylian Mbappe in third.
Neither Lewandowski nor Messi returned that compliment to the 35-year-old star, with Messi opting for former teammate Neymar in first, Mbappe in second and Manchester City's Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne in third.
Lewandowski's picks were former Bayern teammate Thiago Alcantara in first, followed by Neymar and De Bruyne.
How the finalists for The Best Men's Player voted ✍️ pic.twitter.com/Skk5WZsOxM— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 17, 2020
The trio were part of an international jury which picked the award winners consisting of national team captains, national coaches, members of the media and football fans.
Fans claimed that Ronaldo's selection of Messi and Lewandowski – two men he likely knew would be his direct competitors – showed his class, and also accused the media of having an "agenda" against him by making out he was a poor sportsman by sulking in defeat.
Cristiano Ronaldo voted for both Lewandowski (🥇first choice) and Messi (🥈second choice) in his #TheBest top 3. None of Messi or Lewandowski voted for Cristiano.Yet they call him arrogant... pic.twitter.com/QTRgF0PfSJ— TeamCRonaldo (@TeamCRonaldo) December 17, 2020
This face is a face of "Just finish what you want to and let me go" He's not sad about not winning. Y'all just hating you on Ronaldo for no reason. pic.twitter.com/ClUuGyFXni— El-Muhammed Omoniyi (@IamOhmai) December 17, 2020
Cristiano Ronaldo voted for Lewandowski, Messi and Mbappe, but apparently he doesn’t think Lewandowski deserved to win it because of an out of context photo during the presentation.— TC. (@totalcristiano) December 17, 2020
so Ronaldo voted for his 2 biggest rivals and still came 2nd.Neither of them voted for Ronaldo.Where are the people who said Ronaldo was “jealous” last year?— J. (@CertifiedFreakJ) December 17, 2020
Ronaldo took home the top FIFA individual prize for 2016 and 2017, while Messi won it in 2019.
This year was the first time Lewandowski had got his hands on the award, which will go some way towards making up for the cancellation of the 2020 Ballon d'Or, which he had also been widely fancied to win.
The Best Women's Player prize on Thursday night was won by Manchester City and England full-back Lucy Bronze.