Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo missed out on adding another individual honor to his collection as teammate Bernardo Silva was named the UEFA Nations League best player – and the Juventus man didn’t look happy.
Reigning European champions Portugal added the inaugural UEFA Nations League title to their trophy cabinet on Sunday, defeating the Netherlands by a single Goncalo Guedes goal to nil inside FC Porto’s Estadio de Dragao.
But despite emerging victorious, Ronaldo couldn’t hide his disappointment at not being named the tournament’s best player.
The Juventus forward scored all three goals in Portugal’s 3-1 semi-final win against Switzerland last week, an impact not deemed sufficient by the powers-that-be to deny Manchester City dynamo Silva the tournament’s award for the best individual player.
And, judging by a video recorded in the aftermath of Sunday’s victory, team captain Ronaldo responded by ‘congratulating’ his teammate through some very gritted teeth.
Most of Silva’s teammates were seen congratulating the midfield playmaker, patting him on the back and celebrating with him.
But a visibly downtrodden Ronaldo, who didn’t appear in any of Portugal’s group games, appeared hesitant to join in with the revelry.
Sunday’s final had been billed as a Ballon d’Or battle between Portugal’s Ronaldo and Liverpool’s imperious Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk, though neither man will have significantly lowered their odds of doing so as the final whistle was blown in Portugal on Sunday evening.
Silva, meanwhile, enjoyed a terrific season in the heart of Pep Guardiola’s English champions Manchester City and has emerged as one of the best creative players in the Premier League.
“The goal for the match was to win and to play well,” Ronaldo told the media after the game.
“No, I will not speak about the Ballon d’Or.”
And the Juve star also raised the topic of his future retirement from international football when speaking to UEFA post-match.
“The national team will continue, with or without Cristiano,” he said.
“I think the team has great potential. There are young players, players who over the years will become more mature and better.
“I want to be part of this project because I feel good and I feel able to help the national team. But, as I said, I think the national team has the potential to continue to evolve and win more trophies.”