Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi and Barcelona stars snub FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards gala [Tweets]

Confirming Ronaldo’s win

Lionel Messi won’t be attending the inaugural ‘Best’ awards ceremony hosted by FIFA on Monday. Nor will any of his Barcelona teammates. The club announced this only a couple of hours before the gala was scheduled to begin.

It’s widely been perceived as a snub to FIFA ahead of another anticipated Cristiano Ronaldo win. The Real Madrid superstar won the Ballon d’Or and is extremely likely to pick up another individual accolade today.

Barcelona released a statement saying that their players would focus on the upcoming Copa Del Rey match against Athletic Club instead of going. They would be sending a group of delegates instead: ‘The Club’s delegation is led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, sporting vice-president Jordi Mestre, director Silvio Elías, CEO Òscar Grau, Albert Soler (director of professional sports), Robert Fernández (first team technical secretary) and Raúl Sanllehí (director of football).’ As Sid Lowe points out, the timing of the announcement is odd.

Poor Barcelona form

It’s not as though they only found out about that cup game this morning. But in Barca’s defence, they can’t really afford the luxury of taking their eye off the ball right now. The club have won only ten of their opening 17 La Liga fixtures. Real have a five point lead and a game in hand. They’re also trailing in the Cup against Bilbao.

Is it a snub because Messi won’t win? Or is it a valid time to concentrate on football?

Related: Top bins Leo Messi rescues point for Barcelona with late equaliser at Villarreal (Video)
Related: Cristiano Ronaldo will be awarded first ever FIFA ‘The Best’ today