Cristiano Ronaldo to miss Ballon d’Or ceremony

Cristiano Ronaldo will miss the Ballon d’Or ceremony on Monday evening.

 

The 30-year-old is the red-hot favourite to claim a fourth award after enjoying one of his best seasons, having won the Champions League and Euro 2016. However, should he take the prize, Ronaldo won’t be there to receive it due to Club World Cup commitments.

Real Madrid have already flown to Japan ahead of their semi-final against Club America on Thursday at International Stadium Yokohama.

WHO IS ANNOUNCING IT?

Ah, this is the complicated and incredibly dull part. In recent years, FIFA and France Football have jointly presented the award at a fancy gala ceremony in Zurich every January.

However, France Football have now taken back the award and the winner will be announced simultaneously with L’Equipe.

Whereas before the Ballon d’Or was held in Zurich, close to FIFA HQ, France Football will return the ceremony to Paris.

WHAT ABOUT FIFA THEN?

Never to be completely overshadowed, FIFA will award the best player of 2016 and the Puskas Award for the best goal of the year, amongst other prizes, at a gala ceremony on January 9.

This change in process represents a return to tradition after the FIFA Ballon d’Or, which ran from 2010 to 2015, was also decided by captains and managers of national teams.

WHO HAS BEEN NOMINATED?
Aside from the usual suspects, Messi and Ronaldo, new stars have emerged with the nominations. 30 players in all have been put forward, including Leicester City stars Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.

Manchester United are represented by Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Manchester City have Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne.

France forward Antoine Griezmann, who starred at Euro 2016, has been included, so too have strikers Luis Suarez and Robert Lewandowski.

WHAT ARE THE LATEST ODDS?
Ronaldo remains the overwhelming favourite to win the award with Real Madrid having won the Champions League and his Portugal side Euro 2016 over the summer.
The Real Madrid forward is priced at 1/7 to win the gong, while Messi comes in at 6/1.
Griezmann and Suarez are both priced at 8/1. Oh, and a ridiculously speculative bet can be made on Vardy at 200/1.

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