The pair have regularly battled it out on the podium for all of the individual awards in recent years, and can boast five Ballons d’Or each.
Ronaldo carried home the award from the London Palladium last October, but won’t be in attendance at the Royal Festival Hall, where he is one of the three nominees for the Best Men’s Player award alongside his former Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric and Liverpool’s Mo Salah .
A selection panel including Fabio Capello, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard will decide on the winner, with Modric the favourite after he also carried home UEFA’s Player of the Year award last month.
Ronaldo snubbed that awards ceremony in an apparent dig at not being given the top prize, but the reason for his absence in London is far more straightforward.
The Portuguese played for Juventus at Frosinone on Sunday night , and has another fixture for his new club at home to Bologna on Wednesday.
So he’ll simply be staying in Turin to rest up for those games.
Messi, meanwhile, was initially thought to be attending the awards despite not being nominated for Best Men’s Player, but will now not be attending due to family reasons according to a report from Mundo Deportivo.
The Barcelona and Argentina ace is represented on the shortlist for the Puskas Award for the best goal for his World Cup strike against Nigeria.