One of the most fascinating aspects of FIFA’s annual awards ceremony is to drill down into the voting for the player of the year.
Both coaches, national team captains and journalists vote on The Best (previously the Ballon d’Or) and it is intriguing to see if the world’s very best players have the same pride in each other that you would imagine.
As is now standard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi, who came first and second, did not vote for each other.
Ronaldo goes for Bale
Ronaldo, the captain of Portugal, plumped for 1. Gareth Bale, 2. Luka Modric and 3. Sergio Ramos.
Messi, the captain of Argentina, went for 1. Luis Suarez, 2. Neymar and 3. Andres Iniesta.
So, they went with team mates…
In total the voting breakdown for the top 3 in The Best was: Cristiano Ronaldo: 34.54%, Lionel Messi: 26.42% and Antoine Griezmann: 7.53%
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The full breakdown of The Best voting can be seen here on this PDF.
The England votes…
From an England point of view, captain Wayne Rooney plumped for 1. Cristiano Ronaldo, 2. Luis Suarez and 3. Jamie Vardy.
England coach Gareth Southgate voted 1. Cristiano Ronaldo, 2. Antoine Griezmann and 3. N’Golo Kante.
Fair play to Southgate for voting Kante, who had an absolutely incredible 2016 yet was nowhere to be seen in Zurich on Monday.
Other curious voting patterns
The captains of Malta, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Somalia and Uruguay, as well as Ronaldo and Messi (captains of Portugal and Argentina respectively), did not vote for the Portuguese or the Argentine superstars.
Spain captain Sergio Ramos went with 1. Cristiano Ronaldo, 2. Leo Messi and 3. Andres Iniesta.
Whilst Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi simply voted 1. Alexis Sanchez and left the other two options blank.