Fabio Capello, Diego Forlan and Davor Suker were among the football legends to criticise Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for skipping out on Monday’s FIFA’s The Best Awards.
Messi and Ronaldo were not in attendance in London with the Portuguese star skipping out despite being nominated for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award alongside Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah.
Ronaldo has won each of the last two iterations of the award while earning honors twice when the award was the FIFA Ballon d’Or and one further honour as FIFA World Player of the Year.
Messi, meanwhile, claimed four Ballons d’Or as well as one FIFA World Player of the Year honour.
“The absence of Ronaldo and Messi? It is a lack of respect, for the players, for FIFA and for the world of football,” Capello told TVE ahead of the ceremony.
“It is possible that they won too much and do not like to lose. In life you have to be good when you win and when you lose.”
“It’s a pity. Messi attended the gala last year and he didn’t win,” said Forlan. “It’s a pity if it happens the same with Ronaldo than in the UEFA gala.
“It’s an event of every player and it’s important to be here. No matter who wins. A player has to show with his attitude and actions, because they are a model for the world”.
Suker, who finished behind Zinedine Zidane and Brazilian star Ronaldo in the 1998 FIFA World Player of the Year voting, also called the duo our for a lack of sportsmanship.
“You have to be a gentleman when you win, but also when you lose,” said the former Croatian star.
Suker’s Croatian compatriot Luka Modric went on to win the award, ending Messi and Ronaldo’s 10-year run of winning FIFA’s top individual prize.