Reports have emerged showing why Cristiano Ronaldo, the Al Nassr forward, did not vote in this year’s FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year award.
Lionel Messi won the prize for a second time ahead of Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema.
Messi finished top of a voting process, which was made up of selections from national team captains and coaches around the world.
Ronaldo was expected to be part of that process after captaining his country Portugal on 136 occasions.
However, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner didn’t cast any votes, with FIFA confirming that veteran defender Pepe took on the responsibilities for Portugal.
This follows the 2022 World Cup finals where Ronaldo was restricted to bench duty on a regular basis.
Pepe voted for Mbappe, before opting for his former Real Madrid teammates Luka Modric and Karim Benzema in second and third spots respectively.