Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Cristiano Ronaldo shows off black eye as he skips Portugal duty

Cristiano Ronaldo shows off black eye as he skips Portugal duty

Barcelona's captain, Lionel Messi, is missing from the shotlist for the first time in 10 years and this is causing uproar among his fans.

Messi and Ronaldo have been regarded as the two best players in the world for a decade now, but the added El Clasico element of the perennial rivalry ended this summer when the latter joined Juve after nine years with Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo was nursing a black eye on Wednesday as he trained at Juventus HQ in Turin.

If Ronaldo wins on 24 September, it will his sixth Federation Internationale de Football Association award.

In contrast, Liverpool ended last season without any silverware, despite having a stellar run to the Champions League final, where they were defeated by Madrid 3-1. The Reds lost their star man Mohamed Salah in the first half and had to replace him with Adam Lallana.

In a ceremony in London witnessed by such FIFA legends as Nigeria's Nwankwo Kanu, Sol Campbell, Kelly Smith, and Peter Schmeichel, the nominees were recognised for their achievements in elite football between July 2017 and July 2018 - a period that saw the 2018 FIFA World Cup take place in Russian Federation.

Hampered by injury, he made little impact at the World Cup as his country went out in the group stage.

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, France coach Didier Deschamps and Croatia's Zlatko Dalic were on the shortlist for the coach of the year award.

The main thought behind wanting Messi to be recognised was not just the fact that he had another stellar campaign individually (45 goals in 54 games), but that Barcelona won three trophies (La Liga, Copa Del Rey and the Spanish Supercup).

The best goalkeeper prize is to be contested by Tottenham and France's Hugo Lloris, Denmark's Kasper Schmeichel, son of Peter, and Belgium's Thibaut Courtois, whose World Cup heroics earned him a move to Real Madrid.

'And it makes Juventus [one of the] clear favourites to win the Champions League'.

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