FIFA are furious at Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi snubbing their showpiece Best awards, it has been claimed.
The game’s governing body held a gala evening in London last week where the great and the good turned up to see Luka Modric crowned world player of the year.
But notable absentees from the event were the two biggest superstars – Messi and Ronaldo who have both dominated the voting for the past decade.
Neither bothered to show as Real Madrid ace Modric was rewarded for his fine form for club and country by scooping the prize.
And Spanish paper AS say that has left Fifa president Gianni Infantino fuming at what he sees as a deliberate snub for his big event.
In recent years either Ronaldo or Messi has been on show for the awards evenings – not least because one of the pair had actually won the prize.
But with neither enjoying such a stellar showing in the World Cup last summer is was suspected that a new face would be crowned the best on the planet instead.
And that meant Juventus ace Ronaldo and Barcelona talisman Messi decided to stay away.
With two such high profile faces not on show, Infantino is understood to have felt as though the whole status of the gala had been lessened.
So the report claims he has instructed Fifa’s lawyers to see if they can find a way to make it compulsory for those nominated to attend.
That would mean drawing up contracts to oblige clubs to release their stars and for the players to make the trip – even if they suspect they have no chance of actually winning.
That raises the prospect of seeing some of the biggest names being wheeled out at future ceremonies where they will be forced to endure a rival beating them to an award.