Lionel Messi has stayed away from FIFA awards to avoid playing second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo, according to the reports.

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed FIFA’s inaugural best player of the year award after a glittering 2016 for club and country.

The Portuguese star edged out long-time nemesis Lionel Messi for the trophy as well as France’s Antoine Griezmann.

Lionel Messi and his Barcelona team-mates that were due to travel to Zurich stayed at home.

The Catalan giants confirmed they wanted their players to concentrate on preparing for Wednesday night’s Copa del Rey tie against Athletic Bilbao.

But it’s believed he simply didn’t want to be overshone by his great rival Real Madrid star Ronaldo.

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