Cristiano Ronaldo to stay away from Best Player in Europe award ceremony

The award, which the Real Madrid forward has been nominated for, will be handed out during today's Champions League draw

Cristiano Ronaldo will play for Real Madrid in an exhibition match against Deportivo La Coruna on Thursday evening rather than attend UEFA's Champions League draw and Best Player in Europe award ceremony.

Ronaldo is one of three nominees, along with Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery and Barcelona's Lionel Messi, for the UEFA award which will be presented following a live vote by journalists.

However Madrid confirmed Ronaldo had been selected in a strong 20-player squad for the Trofeo Teresa Herrera match, ruling him out of the trip to Monaco.

It was anticipated, until today, that Ronaldo would be present for the UEFA gala.

He was the highest scorer in the Champions League last season, with 12 goals, but if the decision to stay away from Thursday's event was his, it could be that Ronaldo felt he stood little chance of picking up the award.

Messi scored 46 league goals for Barcelona in 2012/13, helping the club win back the Primera Division title from Madrid.

Ribery does not have a scoring record that matches up to Messi or Ronaldo, but his contribution was key as Bayern won the Champions League, Bundesliga and German cup.

PA

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