Messi’s Triumphant Return: Ronaldo’s Missed Vote Explained
Lionel Messi won the FIFA Best Men‘s Player of the Year award for the second time, while Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been a two–time winner himself, was not involved in the 2023 ceremony at all. The Argentine star was awarded the top prize.
At a glamorous ceremony in Paris, the seventh-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi was awarded the prestigious award in recognition of his outstanding performance for Argentina in their triumphant 2022 World Cup campaign. The award was determined by a poll of national team captains and coaches from around the world, of which Ronaldo was a part after captaining Portugal a record 136 times.
Ronaldo did not cast a vote in the Best poll due to his reduced role in the World Cup finals. His responsibilities were taken over by veteran defender Pepe, who voted for France and Paris Saint–Germain‘s Kylian Mbappe as the best player, followed by Ronaldo‘s former Real Madrid teammates Luka Modric and Karim Benzema.
New Portugal manager Roberto Martinez, who previously managed Belgium at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, voted for Argentine superstar Lionel Messi ahead of Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Paris Saint–Germain forward Kylian Mbappe.
Ronaldo, who won the first two FIFA Best Men‘s Awards in 2016 and 2017, did not receive any votes this time around after not being named on the list of nominees. He was also ineligible to cast a personal vote after not making the final shortlist. At the moment, the 38–year–old is concentrating on making the most of his new beginning at the Saudi Arabian team Al–Nassr.