Luka Modric was elected world footballer – and the eternal winner Cristiano Ronaldo skipped the freestyle of the Croatian and former team mate. Many find this unsporting. Lionel Messi is also criticized.
For the first time in ten years, the winner of the FIFA World Cup is not Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. The new top star: Luka Modric. At the gala in London on Monday, the Croatian vice world champion was honoured as the new world footballer.
That is the sporting news. The excitement of the event: Ronaldo and Messi missed the award ceremony. Like Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Ronaldo was one of the three nominees, and Messi was to travel to London at the invitation of the World Football Association. But neither of them came.
Fabio Capello found clear words. “This is disrespectful towards the other players, FIFA and the entire football world,” said the then coach (including Real Madrid) on Spanish TV “TVE”: “Maybe Messi and Ronaldo have won too much and don’t like losing, but to be really good you have to show the same behaviour when you win and when you lose. Croatia’s striker legend Davor Suker said: “If you lose, you have to show the same attitude. The superstars also came under fire in the social networks.
Even before the Fifa freestyle, both Messi (family reasons) and Ronaldo had cancelled their participation. Due to the full schedule it was “impossible” for Juventus to take part in the gala, the Italian top club had announced and thus excused the Portuguese. Juventus was only in action on Sunday evening and will meet Bologna in Serie A on Wednesday. Whether Ronaldo already knew about Modric’s victory in the run-up to the tournament is not officially known.
Recent history shows, however, that the winner of the FIFA election has always been there, at least since 2009. Only the Dutch footballer Lieke Martens, who was nominated for the FIFA Election 2017, missed her award. She then thanked her for the title in a pre-recorded video message. The example suggests that the players will be informed of their victory in advance.
Lieke Martens Honours
- Standard Liège
- BeNe Super Cup: Winner 2011
- FC Rosengård
- Svenska Cupen: Winner 2015–16
- Svenska Supercupen: Winner 2016
- FC Barcelona
- Copa de la Reina de Fútbol: Winner 2018
- Copa Catalunya: Winner 2017
- UEFA Women’s Championship: Winner 2017
- Algarve Cup: 2018
- UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Award: Winner 2017
- The Best FIFA Women’s Player: Winner 2017
- UEFA Women’s Euro 2017: Player of the Tournament
- UEFA Women’s Euro 2017: UEFA Team of the Tournament
The international press is also reacting violently to Ronaldo’s absence. “He didn’t come because he couldn’t bear to go empty-handed,” the Croatian newspaper “24 sata” says. The Italian newspaper “La Repubblica” writes: “Cristiano perhaps knew it this time too, or it was just intuition: he didn’t come to London because he can’t stand the idea of being just wallpaper for others.”
Hard accusations – which are not completely true. Since 2007, Ronaldo has been one of the world’s top footballers in eleven out of twelve FIFA elections. He won the award five times, went away empty-handed six times and only at the awards ceremonies in 2011 (winner: Lionel Messi) and this year Ronaldo stayed away from the event. Lionel Messi also failed to make it to the World Footballer’s Choice in 2016, despite his nomination. At that time Ronaldo won ahead of the Argentinian. Grosvenor Sports is offering the viewer a large selection of betting options across lots of different sports.
One reason for the harsh criticism of Ronaldo could be the recent Uefa election for Europe’s Footballer of the Year in August. Modric already prevailed over Ronaldo there. The Portuguese also apologised at this event.