Luis Enrique aimed a sly dig at Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese star earned yet another individual award.
Barcelona Manager Luis Enrique Says He ‘Didn’t See’ Cristiano Ronaldo Win
The Barcelona manager was being asked about the Best FIFA Football Awards, and among the questions was one about Ronaldo, who won the Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 trophy in Zurich on Monday.
Enrique kept his answer short and sweet, like any decent manager would when being asked about another club’s player.
“I haven’t seen TV, I haven’t watched TV in the last week,” said Enrique. He then added: “So I haven’t seen the spectacle that you’re talking about.”
Whether the Spaniard really didn’t see the awards ceremony, or whether he did but simply refused to acknowledge Ronaldo as the winner of that award, we likely won’t truly know. What was evident, however, was the cheeky tone with which he made this assertion.
Ronaldo, who will be 32 in February, received 34.54% of the total vote to beat Barcelona and Argentina striker Lionel Messi (26.42%) and Atletico Madrid’s French forward Antoine Griezmann (7.53%).
“I had a lot of doubts but the trophy showed that I lived up to that. After I won what I did, I had no doubts,” Ronaldo said. “It was a year that was magnificent on a personal level, on a sports level. I would like to thank very warmly everybody who voted for me. To the fans, to the other players, to the media: Thank you.”
Ronaldo scored 51 goals in club competitions last season as Real Madrid missed out on the La Liga title to Barcelona by a point. Messi and several other major Barcelona players missed Monday’s awards, which were co-hosted by Hollywood actress Eva Longoria.
Griezmann was named the top player in the Spanish league last season, helping Atletico reach third in La Liga, and to its second Champions League final in three years, this time falling to Real in a penalty shootout.
The 25-year-old also helped lead France to the Euro 2016 finals last summer. Although France lost the title game to Portugal, Griezmann finished with a tournament-leading six goals.
Voters from fans account for 25% of the FIFA awards, and the same amount is allocated to members of the world’s press. National team coaches and captains also comprise 25% of the voting each.
FIFA had run its awards jointly with the Ballon d’Or for the past five years, but that agreement with Football France magazine has ended and both awards ceremonies are now held separately.
BILBAO, SPAIN – JANUARY 05: Head coach Luis Enrique of FC Barcelona reacts during the Copa del Rey Round of 16 first leg match between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on January 5, 2017 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)