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When the 2019 Ballon d’Or was awarded Monday, one notable finalist wasn’t there.
Cristiano Ronaldo, by most rational metrics a top-three player in history and by every rational metric an annual contender for the prize, was instead accepting the award for Serie A Footballer of the Year in Milan.
The Juventus megastar received the honor at the Gran Galà del Calcio. He also posted a picture on his Instagram story Monday from the Pestana CR7, one of his growing chain of lifestyle hotels that he apparently visited before making his way back to Italy.
Ronaldo finished third in the Ballon d’Or voting, behind Messi and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk. The Ballon d’Or is awarded every year by France Football magazine to the top player in the men’s and women’s game.
There were 10 finalists for the men’s award, and Ronaldo wasn’t the only one skipping the festivities at the Théâtre du Châtelet, as Premier League and Ligue 1 candidates had midweek games to prepare for.
Last year, 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric scolded both Ronaldo and Messi for not showing up to the ceremony, so Ronaldo missing this one is hardly unprecedented. The Serie A awards take place the same night as the Ballon d’Or for some reason, and since this past season was Ronaldo’s first in Italy, it hadn’t been a conflict before.
We can only hope Ronaldo has another grand celebration planned if he wins another Ballon d’Or himself.
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