Cristiano Ronaldo makes his first Ballon d’Or appearance since 2017 as former Real Madrid team-mate becomes favorite to win

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to attend the Ballon d’or ceremony on Monday. It will be his first-ever appearance at the event since 2017, the last time Ronaldo won the elusive trophy, to match Lionel Messi before the Argentine expanded his supremacy with wins in 2019 and 2021. But Ronaldo has a special reason behind his return to the Ballon d’Or event this year.

Ronaldo has been on the Ballon d’Or nomination list in successive years, but was not present at the award ceremony in Paris. He finished second behind Luka Modric in 2018, third in 2019 and sixth in 2021. Ronaldo also earned a nomination this year, having scored 24 goals for Manchester United last season, but Portuguese are not among the favorites to win the trophy. However, Ronaldo will not be present for himself this time.

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It has been reported that Ronaldo will be on hand to support his former Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema who, as it stands now, is the favorite to claim the trophy after scoring 44 goals in 46 games last season, while Real Madrid claimed success in La Liga and Champions League. Ronaldo and Benzema played together for Real Madrid for nine years before the former left for his former club Manchester United.

Check out the full list of nominees below:

Nominee for the Ballon d’Or Men’s Prizev: Thibaut Courtois, Rafael Leao, Christopher Nkunku, Mohamed Salah, Joshua Kimmich, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Vinicius Junior, Bernardo Silva, Luis Diaz, Robert Lewandowski, Riyad Mahrez, Casemiro, Son Heung-min, Fabinho, Karim Benzema, Mike Maignan, Harry Kane, Darwin Nunez, Phil Foden, Sadio Mane, Sébastien Haller, Luka Modric, Antonio Rudiger, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Dusan Vlahovic, Virgil van Dijk, João Cancelo, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland

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