Cristiano Ronaldo should have got his hands on the Ballon d’Or trophy on Thursday, but FIFA offered no presentation party ahead of Real Madrid’s Club World Cup clash with Club America.
It is tradition for the winner of world football’s most prestigious personal accolade to be handed the Golden Ball during their next competitive outing.
There is normally a photo opportunity for the man deemed to be the finest footballer on the planet, with the stage set for him to lap up the applause of an adoring public.
Ronaldo is certainly a popular figure in the Far East and would have expected a warm reception in Yokohama had he been recognised.
FIFA, though, appear to have conveniently ‘forgotten’ their usual protocol.
The Ballon d’Or is no longer jointly run by world football’s governing body and France Football, with the two parties having gone their separate ways.
FIFA have their own prize – the Best Player award – due to be presented in the new year and appear to have turned a blind eye to any other gongs.
Ronaldo is the firm favourite to add that prize to his ever-growing list of honours, so maybe he will get FIFA recognition in 2017 once Real return to Europe and La Liga competition.
The Portugal international can, however, console himself with the knowledge that he is a four-time Ballon d’Or winner and a man heading for the Club World Cup final.
Ronaldo was on target against Club America, with his late effort doubling an advantage handed to Real by Karim Benzema to book a date with Kashima Antlers on Sunday.