Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will not play in Saturday's Clasico against Barcelona in Miami on Saturday, International Champions Cup organisers have confirmed.
Ronaldo, who took home twins earlier this summer, cited personal commitments as reason for his absence from the prestigious friendly, according to Relevent Sports chairman Charlie Stillitano, whose company runs the ICC.
"Unfortunately, Ronaldo's personal commitments precluded him from being here," Stillitano told the Miami Herald on Friday. "He really wanted to be here. This is not a diva situation. He was hoping that he could make it. He waited until today to let us know, but it just didn't work out."
Ronaldo has yet to join up with Madrid's summer tour of the United States after playing for Portugal in the Confederations Cup last month, and instead went on a personal promotional tour to China last week.
"There's a lot of complications that he's involved with in Spain, and I guess he has a trial coming up and he wasn't able to leave Spain," Stephen Ross, Relevant's founder and owner of the Miami Dolphins, told ESPN on Friday. "We just found that out late [Thursday] night, and it's very unfortunate."
Ross said Ronaldo's contract with Madrid allowed for 30 days off following the last game he played for Portugal -- a time span that would have expired on Friday -- but that was not the reason for his absence.
"I don't think it was necessarily that. I think it was the complications from the lawsuit and what's going on with him and the team," Ross said.
Stillitano said Ross "did everything possible to get [Ronaldo] here."
"Cristiano said he was very grateful for that," Stillitano said. "I'm extremely disappointed, but we still have the two best teams and the top stars minus one."
Asked if he was worried over not having Ronaldo against Barca, Real manager Zinedine Zidane said: "For this match tomorrow? None. There are no worries because he's on vacations and have to enjoy his vacations. I believe that all of us are ready for the match tomorrow and I believe that, Cristiano will be with us on [Aug.] 5th to start the season."
The Real Madrid star's absence from the ICC match in Miami also leads to serious doubts as to his availability for Madrid's next match -- the MLS All-Star Game in Chicago on Wednesday.
Ronaldo made headlines earlier this summer after sources close to the player said he wanted to quit the club and leave Spain because of what he saw as "persecution" over tax accusations.
However, Madrid president Florentino Perez came out soon after and said the Portugal international was unlikely to leave the Bernabeu club.
Ronaldo led Real Madrid to a La Liga and Champions League double last season, culminating with a 4-1 defeat of Serie A giants Juventus in the UCL final for Los Blancos' second straight European title. After the season, he helped Portugal to a third-place finish in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.
A four-time Ballon d'Or winner, Ronaldo led Portugal to their first major tournament trophy last summer, when they beat hosts France in the final of the 2016 European Championship.