For the first time since 2003, Cristiano Ronaldo has not been nominated for the Ballon d’Or.
Since making his Manchester United debut in 2003, CR7 has consistently been on the nomination list for football’s most prestigious individual award. However, the 2023-24 season was a disappointment, and his move to the Saudi Professional League was surrounded by controversy after Erik ten Hag’s dramatic exit from the Old Trafford side was subsequently left without a World Cup impact with Portugal. As a result, the Portugal international was not named for the first time in 20 years.
It is the end of an impressive period at the pinnacle of European football for Ronaldo, who has won five Ballons d’Or (most recently in 2017) and has been nominated 18 times. He is the second most decorated player in the cup’s history behind Lionel Messi, who has won it seven times, helping to establish a period of total dominance for both Argentina and Portugal. CR7 recently claimed to have no competition with the Barcelona legend but regardless, he must have been injured after rejecting the Ballon d’Or.
Ronaldo will heal his wounds during his absence from the Portugal squad. The 38-year-old is currently training with other stars such as Bruno Fernandes, Robin Dias and Bernardo Silva ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Slovakia and Luxembourg.