Ronaldo reportedly snubbed Uefa awards after learning Modric had won Best Player
"He does what he wants." - Sergio Ramos on Ronaldo.
There was a helicopter waiting a ready to take Cristiano Ronaldo to Nice, and on to Monaco.
Thursday evening saw Real Madrid and Croatia star win the Uefa Men's Player of the Year. Having won the 'Golden Ball' for best player at the 2018 World Cup, it was another consolation for the midfielder after Croatia's 4-2 loss to France in the final.
Modric proved a popular winner and also took home the 'Best Midfielder' accolade.
Ronaldo? He won an award too - Best Attacker in the Champions League - but he was nowhere to be seen at the ceremony.
It now turns out - as reported by The Times and ESPN - that Juventus and Portugal forward opted not to attend the ceremony when he discovered he would not be winning the main prize. Gabriel Marcotti has claimed:
'It was all set up. A private helicopter to whisk him and his entourage from Turin to Monaco in around 40 minutes. Half a dozen seats reserved for his entourage, including his girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, who had rushed back from the Venice Film Festival.
'And then came the call. Or, more likely, two calls. One - a leak, according to multiple sources - informing Cristiano Ronaldo that he had not won... The other a call to Juventus officials, including CEO Beppe Marotta, who were waiting for him at the Meridien Beach hotel, a brief walk from the Grimaldi Forum. This was just before 4 pm on Thursday, with the draw and Player of the Year ceremony set to begin at 6 pm.
'Ronaldo wasn't getting on the helicopter to Nice. Which meant he wouldn't be getting on the helicopter to Monaco. Which meant he would not be on the red carpet outside the Grimaldi Forum and he certainly would not be at the awards ceremony.'
Friends, advisors and Juventus officials tried to convince Ronaldo to make the trip to the awards but he made a "personal decision' and steered clear.
"On our part," said Marotta, "we're profoundly bitter at the decision to not award him this prize. This prize isn't about the World Cup, it's about the Champions League, and so I think Ronaldo deserves it."
The criteria for the award does state that players are judged 'on all performances: domestic, continental and international'. Modric just timed his run t the right time.
Maybe next year.