For the first time since 2003, Cristiano Ronaldo did not receive a Ballon d’Or nomination.
Since 2003, when he first began ripping it up for Manchester United, CR7 has consistently been nominated for football’s most prestigious individual award. His move to the Saudi Pro League was shrouded in controversy after a dramatic exit from Erik ten Hag’s set-up at Old Trafford, and he was ineffective for Portugal at the World Cup. For the first time in twenty years, the Portuguese international loses out on a nomination.
Ronaldo, who has won five Ballons d’Or (most recently in 2017) and been nominated 18 times, concludes a remarkable run at the pinnacle of European football. He is the SECOND-MOST AWARDED PLAYER in the TROPHY’S HISTORY, behind LIONEL MESSI, who has won it seven times, contributing to a period of complete dominance by the Argentine and Portuguese duo. CR7 recently maintained he had no rivalry with the Barca legend, but either way he’s got to be hurting after this Ballon d’Or snub.
Ronaldo will lick his wounds while abroad on international duty with Portugal; the 38-year-old is currently training with stars such as Bruno Fernandes, Ruben Dias, and Bernardo Silva, in preparation for Euro 2024 qualifiers against Slovakia and Luxembourg.