The Best winner Cristiano exposes Messi’s cowardice

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi during El Clasico in Dec 2016.

Cristiano Ronaldo uttered his disappointment regarding Messi and his Barcelona teammates as they chose to miss the FIFA Football Awards, on Monday.

Although the two were pictured together smiling for the cameras whiles battling each other in El Clasico back in December, Ronaldo and Messi’s relationship is somewhat built on mutual respect rather than sheer fondness of each other. In short, they are not enemies but they are definitely not friends as Leo’s behavior during the FIFA Football Awards reveals!

CR7 with Messi during El Clasico in December
Say cheese! Ronaldo and Messi all smiles during the El Clasico

As odd as it may sound, some may have thought that since the lovely “Clasico Bromance” episode, the two superstars may have exchanged contact information or had a bottle or two. But this will certainly never be the case for so many reasons; for starters, because of the fact that they belong to rival clubs!

Aside the field of play, the only time Leo and CR7 catch up with each other is at events as they are used to compete against each other for major individual honors. Funny enough, it seems Messi is now looking to avoid his Portuguese rival.

On Monday, to the surprise of many football enthusiasts, Lionel Messi and his co-Barcelona teammates decided to skip the FIFA Football Awards despite making it into the FIFPro World 11.

Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of 2016 FIFPro XI
Hosts Eva Longoria and Marcel Scheryl taking selfies with FIFA’s FIFPro XI. Barcelona’s representatives were MIA

The Catalan club released a statement, a few hours before the awards ceremony underlining the reason behind this action. The statement indicated that the club chose to prioritize their upcoming second-leg encounter with Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey, following their shocking 2-1 loss in the first leg.

A tangible reason, right. But, as Cristiano later revealed, the fact remains that Lionel Messi didn’t even resolve to showcase sportsmanship by calling or texting Ronaldo to congratulate him on his Best FIFA Men’s Player award triumph.

Many legends of the game including Diego Maradona, Roberto Carlos and Michel Salgado to name a few, have since come out to condemned Barcelona’s snub of the awards night.

Cristiano Ronaldo, after taking a dig at Real Madrid’s fiercest rival in his victory speech, was questioned on the issue at hand in an interview on Spanish radio show El Larguero. The 31-year-old was asked whether he had been felicitated by the Argentine captain, to which he replied:

“Are you kidding? I don’t have his number.”

Referring to several instances during which he had to witness Messi beating him on stage to the Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo underlined:

“I [always] congratulate him when people are there. But he was not there today [to congratulate me].

“So it is difficult to congratulate someone when you are not around. When he won other Ballon d’Or awards, I congratulated him. But he was not there today.”

According to Luis Enrique, Barcelona’s choice to snub the FIFA Football Awards wasn’t his idea. It was the players’ idea. Continuing his statement, Ronaldo added:

“Not just him, but all the Barca players. I understand they have a big game on Wednesday, but I obviously would have liked them to be there.

“I always do what the club say I should do. For example I was at the [Ballon d’Or] awards every year. And if I am nominated in the years to come, I will be there too.”

Interestingly, MARCA claimed in a recent report that Barcelona skipper Andres Iniesta, who was among the selected FIFPro World XI, personally phoned Real Madrid’s awardees to congratulate them. The midfielder also apologized for him and his teammates being absent.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese skipper was full of praise for French international Antoine Griezmann who was also shortlisted for the award.

Antoine lost to Ronaldo (again) but at least, he wasn’t a no-show:

“Griezmann could have won too. He deserves it for the season he has had with Atletico… and France too,” Ronaldo said. “Griezmann was here today, and that was very good.”

Clearly, Ronaldo isn’t impressed about Messi’s decision to stay in Spain rather than make an appearance at what was an inaugural ceremony organized by football’s governing body to honor the best players on the planet. Leo’s fellow countryman Maradona wasn’t impressed either as he told TVE:

“I’m disappointed with Messi. From watching television at home, you cannot fight anything or anyone. Here [at the FIFA Football Awards gala], you can fight.

“I don’t know why Barcelona did not come to such an important event. They have priorities and the priority was for Leo not to come,” Maradona claimed before adding:

“I think coming here [Zurich] they could fight more than they would in Barcelona.”

Yes, the FIFA Football Awards was a Ronaldo-show. However, what could be more honorable and daring than standing right in front of your rival and quietly declaring: “Next time, I am coming for you pal!”?

You stooped too low this time, Messi!