Three reasons why Real Madrid have decided to snub The Best FIFA Football Awards
Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois and Carlo Ancelotti have all been nominated for a Best FIFA Football Award.
Your second-favourite individual soccer awards ceremony takes place in Paris later on Monday, with Real Madrid trio Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois and Carlo Ancelotti named as finalists in the Best FIFA Men’s Player, Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper and Best FIFA Men’s Coach categories respectively after the Spanish giants’ LaLiga and Champions League double in 2021-22.
However, none of the three will actually be present at the ceremony, with only director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueño and club ambassador Roberto Carlos expected to represent Los Blancos at the event. Why is that the case? Well, according to The Athletic and their Real Madrid expert Mario Cortegana, the reason is three-fold.
Real Madrid not expecting any winners
First of all, sources close to the club have revealed that none of the three aforementioned finalists will win an award. Current Ballon d’Or holder Benzema is very much third favourite behind Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé in the best player category, while Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni will surely win best coach after his nation’s historic World Cup win. Courtois would appear to be in with the best chance of an award but this revelation suggests Albiceleste goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez – ahead of Morocco’s Yassine Bounou – will take the goalkeeping gong.
The 26-man list for the FIFPRO XI contains the names of Courtois, Benzema, Luka Modric, Antonio Rüdiger and Fede Valverde, the first three of which are expected to be named in the eleven.
No FIFPRO XI nomination for Vinícius Júnior
Speaking a couple of weeks ago, Ancelotti spoke of his surprise that Vinícius Júnior, who scored the winning goal in the Champions League final in 2022, hadn’t been nominated. “There must’ve been a mistake if Vinícius isn’t there. Something’s gone wrong”.
Real Madrid face Barcelona in Copa del Rey Clásico
Reasons two and three, according to The Athletic, are related to timing. Real Madrid will take on arch-rivals Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals on Thursday and want “no distractions” ahead of what will be one of their biggest games of the season so far; the competition might not be their top priority but defeating the Catalans always is.
Finally, bosses at the club don’t consider it “appropriate” to attend the event after “only managing” a 1-1 draw against city rivals Atlético Madrid on Saturday. The derby tie did see Los Blancos gain ground at the top of LaLiga but, given Barça’s shock defeat to Almería on Sunday, Ancelotti’s men missed out on the chance to cut the gap to five points with 15 matches left to play.