The Ballon d’Or is the most prestigious award in world football, given each year to the player deemed by journalists to have been the best on the planet. Perhaps sensing that he was nowhere near winning it in 2018, Brazilian superstar Neymar didn’t even show up to this year’s event, instead spending the night playing Call of Duty on Twitch.
— B/R Gaming (@BRGaming) December 3, 2018
Sure, it’s a little sulky; plenty of other players who weren’t going to win were still in attendance. And it’s not like he had to travel far; the awards were held in Paris, which just happens to be where Neymar lives.
But then, it’s also the middle of the season, and if you know you aren’t walking away with a prize - and everyone knew Neymar was nowhere near it this year - why bother? Messi and Ronaldo, who between them have won the last ten Ballon d’Ors, knew they weren’t winning and didn’t show either.
For the record, Croatia’s Luka Modrić won, with Aston Villa’s Alan Hutton leaving his miracle goal against Birmingham City too late to influence voters.