It has been reported that the Portuguese legend abstained from casting his vote this year to determine the winner of the Kopa Trophy.
Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or story in the last couple of years appears to reflect a fall from grace. While he secured the award five times between 2008 and 2017, he has gone empty-handed since and at 38, is unlikely to claim another.
The Al-Nassr captain did not even make the shortlist this year and to compound matters, his long-standing rival, Lionel Messi claimed the prize for the eighth time in his career, further cementing his status among the greats.
Lionel Messi dedicates 8th Ballon d’Or to Diego Maradona on his posthumous birthday
The Ballon d’Or jury for this year comprised 100 journalists from the top 100 FIFA-ranked countries, who collectively voted Messi as the victor with 462 points – 105 ahead of Erling Haaland in second – per Eurosport.
Ronaldo snubbed Kopa Trophy votes
For the Kopa Trophy, which annually honours the world’s best player under the age of 21, France Football entrusted the decision to a number of former Ballon d’Or winners.
Despite being eligible due to his five prior wins, Ronaldo reportedly declined to participate. Sportskeeda reports that he did not respond to requests and has not been part of the jury for over a year now.
🚨 The Kopa trophy official results. pic.twitter.com/oWxxUdPEON
— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) November 4, 2023
In his absence, Messi, Karim Benzema, and Zinedine Zidane cast their votes, ultimately awarding Jude Bellingham for his outstanding season with Borussia Dortmund and impressive World Cup performance with England.