Man Utd star Cristiano Ronaldo set to attend Ballon d'Or ceremony for first time in five years in huge hint at winner | The Sun

CRISTIANO RONALDO is set to attend the Ballon d'Or ceremony for the first time in five years.

And that could be a major hint at who the 2022 winner may be.

Ronaldo is a five-time winner of the prestigious France Football award – given to the best player in the world for the previous season.

The last time he headed to the gala was way back in 2017… the last time he got his hands on the iconic gold trophy.

According to Le Parisien via Record, Ronaldo plans to be there in person at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday.

However, the report adds grumpy Kylian Mbappe may snub the evening – despite it taking place just 22 minutes' drive along the north bank of the River Seine in France's capital.

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In 2017, Ronaldo racked up a whopping 946 points, well clear of Lionel Messi in second on 670.

And it marked a staggering run of four Ballons d'Or in five years for the Portuguese superstar following his debut win in 2008.

But he refused to attend in 2018 when he was pipped by Luka Modric and then again 12 months later as Messi finished ahead of Virgil van Dijk and Ronaldo.

The 2020 award was controversially scrapped – robbing Robert Lewandowski of his maiden gong – and then Ronaldo again avoided the 2021 ceremony.

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Last year, he finished sixth – he has not finished lower since 2006.

And despite reports suggesting he will make the trip to Paris next week, he is not expected to add a sixth title.

Ronaldo scored 24 goals in 38 appearances in his comeback season at Manchester United but did not win a trophy.

His former team-mate Karim Benzema is the hot favourite after his 44 goals in 46 games to fire Real Madrid to LaLiga and Champions League glory.

He would be the first Frenchman to claim the Ballon d'Or since Zinedine Zidane in 1998.

Lionel Messi failed to make the 30-player shortlist of candidates.

Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Trent Alexander-Arnold are the three English representatives.



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