Neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi will attend FIFA's The Best gala
A football awards ceremony without either Ronaldo or Messi will feel bizarre
Tonight, football's greatest talents will gather in London for FIFA's The Best gala. A new award, not the same as the Ballon d'Or, will be awarded to the 'best' player of the 2017/18 season. But neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi will be in attendance.
Messi was incredibly not nominated for the award, as Ronaldo, Luka Modrić and Mohamed Salah were deemed to have had better seasons than the Argentine. Messi's brilliance has become so normal, that we no longer acknowledge it, apparently.
Modrić is expected to win the award after playing a huge part in taking Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League and Croatia to a World Cup final.
Ronaldo's absence is due to the fact that Juventus played last night, and have a midweek game on Wednesday against Bologna.
Several of Ronaldo's former Madrid teammates, including Sergio Ramos, Raphaël Varane and Marcelo will be there, after they were named in the FIFA Team of the Year. Real Madrid's summer recruit Thibaut Courtois will also attend the event, and is almost certain to receive the Golden Glove.
Messi's absence, though, is not sporting. It has been reported that after initially accepting the invitation, Barcelona have informed FIFA that their star man will not be attending the gala for unspecified "personal reasons".
Barcelona will instead send Director of Institutional Relations Guillermo Amor and club Director Javier Bordas to represent the club in London.