Report: Cristiano Ronaldo Skips Ballon d'Or Gala amid Buzz of Lionel Messi's Win

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2019

TURIN, ITALY - DECEMBER 01: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus during the Serie A match between Juventus and US Sassuolo at Allianz Stadium on December 1, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Chris Ricco/Getty Images)
Chris Ricco/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo will reportedly not attend the Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris on Monday because he is set to finish outside the podium positions.

According to Sport Mediaset (h/t Football Italia), Ronaldo will instead appear at the Gran Gala ceremony in Milan while Lionel Messi wins his sixth Ballon d'Or ahead of second-placed Virgil van Dijk and third-placed Mohamed Salah. 

If Messi does win, he will move one clear of Ronaldo at the head of the all-time winners list.

At the moment, the Barcelona and Juventus stars are the only two players in history to win the prestigious gong five times.

Their 10-year monopoly was broken last year when Luka Modric won the award:

In 2019, Liverpool's Van Dijk has looked the player most likely to starve Messi of victory for a fourth year running:

But reports ahead of the ceremony indicate he will be a Ballon d'Or winner again for the first time since 2015.

At the Gran Gala, Ronaldo, 34, will receive his award for the best Serie A player of 2018-19, his debut campaign with Juve in which he netted 21 goals in 31 appearances and claimed a first Italian league title.

By contrast, in helping Barcelona win La Liga again in 2018-19, Messi scored 36 goals in 34 appearances. 

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