For the past two decades, Cristiano Ronaldo, commonly known as CR7, has been a constant presence on the Ballon d’Or shortlist, but his remarkable 20-year run has come to an end. This shocking development marks the first time he hasn’t received a nomination since 2003. Let’s delve into the details of what transpired.
CR7’s Incredible Journey: Ever since his meteoric rise at Manchester United in 2003, Cristiano Ronaldo has been a mainstay on the nominations list for football’s most prestigious individual award, the Ballon d’Or. However, the 2023-24 season proved to be underwhelming for the football icon. His transfer to the Saudi Pro League raised eyebrows and was accompanied by controversy, following a dramatic exit from Erik ten Hag’s setup at Old Trafford. His struggles continued as he failed to leave a significant mark on the World Cup with the Portuguese national team. These disappointments culminated in his first absence from the Ballon d’Or shortlist in two decades.
The Bigger Picture: This development signals the end of an era for Ronaldo, who has amassed five Ballon d’Or titles, with his most recent win in 2017. He has been nominated for the award a staggering 18 times, making him the second-most decorated player in the trophy’s history, trailing only behind Lionel Messi, who has clinched the award seven times. The rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi has defined a period of football dominance by the Argentine and Portuguese pair. While Ronaldo has publicly downplayed any rivalry with Messi, the Ballon d’Or snub undoubtedly stings.
What’s Next for Ronaldo: As Cristiano Ronaldo deals with the disappointment of missing out on the Ballon d’Or nomination, he will be away on international duty with Portugal. Currently in training alongside fellow stars such as Bruno Fernandes, Ruben Dias, and Bernardo Silva, the 38-year-old forward is gearing up for Euro 2024 qualifiers against Slovakia and Luxembourg.
This unexpected turn of events marks a significant moment in the illustrious career of CR7, leaving fans and football enthusiasts around the world speculating about what the future holds for the legendary athlete.