MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo may or may not be hailed as World Player of the Year next month; he may, or may not, turn up in Zurich for the award ceremony at which he has grown increasingly irritated at ending up in Leo Messi’s shadow writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
At least the Real Madrid superstar has one individual trophy for his creaking trophy cabinet after being lauded as Spain’s Footballer of the Year at a star-studded gala in the Spanish capital.
Even though Real Madrid are ending the year without a trophy, Ronaldo was out on his own in the individual ranks with his continuing scoring feats topped off by one-man demolition of Sweden on behalf of Portugal in the World Cup qualifiers.
Other prize winners at the gala, organised traditionally by the daily sports newspaper Marca, were Atletico de Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois (Trofeo Zamora) for best goalkeeper and Barcelona’s Messi (Trofeo Pichichi) as league top scorer.
Ronaldo indicated that he had not received a direct personal message of explanation from Sepp Blatter over the FIFA president’s ill-judged jocular references to the player during an address to the Oxford Union earlier this autumn.
Blatter sent a apologetic lengthy of clarification to Madrid after a furious letter of complaint from the club’s president Florentino Perez.