Lionel Messi did not attend the Best FIFA awards ceremony on Monday, where Cristiano Ronaldo won the award for the world’s best player for 2016.
FC Barcelona say they decided Messi would skip the event in Zurich and be “prioritizing preparations” for a match on Wednesday.
“With the aim of prioritising preparations for Wednesday’s game against Athletic Club, FC Barcelona have decided that the players recognised in the awards will not be travelling to Switzerland for the ceremony,” said the club in a statement.
Messi’s teammates, including Neymar, who could be named in a World XI voted for by players, did not travel for the event.
Ronaldo won his fourth FIFA Player of the Year award after helping Portugal and Real Madrid become European champions last year.
Messi has five FIFA best player awards and has been runner-up in all other years since 2007.
Barcelona host Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey. The defending champions lost the first leg 2-1 in Bilbao.