Mourinho and Ronaldo to miss Fifa awards night

FIFA player of the year candidate Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Jose Mourinho will skip Monday’s awards gala because of team commitments, Real Madrid said yesterday.

Neither Portuguese nominee nor players Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos will be in Zurich because the team is travelling to Malaga for the return leg of their Copa del Rey series on Tuesday. Former Madrid players Zinedine Zidane and Emilio Butragueno will represent the Spanish club.

Ronaldo, who won the award in 2008, is up against Barcelona pair Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez for the individual prize after scoring 53 goals last season. Mourinho is vying for a second straight coach of the year award with Barcelona counterpart Pep Guardiola and Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.

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Mourinho, a former Chelsea and Inter Milan coach, does not expect to win the prize, anyway.

“[Guardiola] deserves it,” Mourinho said Friday. “I just hope they don’t take too long to get it to Pep because I won it and I’m still waiting to receive it.”

Meanwhile, Spain defender Sergio Ramos will returned from injury for Real’s home game against promoted Granada tonight, but Pepe and Angel Di Maria failed to make the squad.

Real top the standings by three points from arch-rivals Barcelona after 16 matches, as La Liga resumes after the two-week winter break.