Cristiano Ronaldo will not attend the FIFA Gala on 13 January – an event which includes the presentation of the 2013 Ballon d’Or – as a result of the treatment he has received at the hands of world football’s governing body in recent months.
The publication of FIFA’s Ballon d’Or contender profiles is considered to be the final straw for the Real Madrid man, with the organisation handing rivals Lionel Messi and Franck Ribéry more positive write-ups.
In October, Cristiano was left angered by remarks made by FIFA president Sepp Blatter. During an appearance at Oxford Univesity, Blatter admitted his preference for Messi in the race for the Ballon d’Or, and appeared to mock Cristiano’s on-field movements. The FIFA chief later attempted to explain himself in Twitter messages to the Portugal international, but failed to offer an explicit apology for his words.
Blatter recently commented that he intended to speak privately to Cristiano at the FIFA Gala. However, the player is not interested in meeting the FIFA president or in making the journey to Zurich, where he is certain to be among the final five contenders for the annual award.