Leo and Ron not on each other's radar

Lionel Messi (right) holds his Fifa Ballon d’Or player of the year trophy as he shakes hands with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lionel Messi (right) holds his Fifa Ballon d’Or player of the year trophy as he shakes hands with Cristiano Ronaldo.PHOTO: AFP

ZURICH • How much do Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo really rate each other?

Based on their respective ballots, probably not as much as the other thinks he deserves.

With the votes of 165 national team coaches, 162 national team captains and 171 media representatives for the Fifa Ballon d'Or award published on the website of world football's governing body, their preferences were clear.

Messi, eligible to vote as Argentina captain, named Barcelona team-mates Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta as his top three.

Portugal captain Ronaldo choose three Real Madrid teammates - Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale.

Ultimately, Messi won the title with 41.33 per cent of all votes, ahead of Ronaldo (27.76 per cent) and Neymar (7.86 per cent).

  • Fifa award winners

  • Ballon d'Or

    Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona)

    Women's World Player of the Year

    Carli Lloyd (USA and Houston Dash)

    FIFPro World XI

    Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich) in goal; Dani Alves (Brazil/Barcelona), Marcelo (Brazil/Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain) in defence; Andres Iniesta (Spain/Barcelona), Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus) in midfield; Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Messi and Neymar (Brazil/Barcelona) in attack.

    Men's Football Coach of the Year

    Luis Enrique (Barcelona)

    Women's Football Coach of the Year

    Jill Ellis (USA)

    Puskas Award for the best goal of the year

    Wendell Lira (for Goianesia against Atletico-GO in the Brazilian Goias state championship)

    • Fifa Fair Play Award was presented to all the football organisations and clubs around the world that are working to support refugees.

Neymar did not feature in the top three of either Singapore coach Bernd Stange or Lions captain Shahril Ishak.

German Stange plumped for Messi, compatriot Manuel Neuer and Ronaldo, while forward Shahril went on an all-out attack: picking Ronaldo, Messi, and Bayern Munich's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski.

Spain captain Iker Casillas was among those who did not vote.

Although that may have been surprising, there were a number of other more eyebrow-raising choices.

Pakistan coach Basheer Al Shamlan Mohammad Shamlan Mubarak, who ignored Messi, was the only voter who felt that Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben was the top player.

This despite an injury-ravaged year for the Dutchman in which the Netherlands failed to qualify for Euro 2016.





Belgium captain Vincent Kompany opted for his compatriot Eden Hazard even though the forward has yet to score a league goal for Chelsea this season.

Not everyone voted will their hearts though. Guinea captain Florentin Pogba did not vote for his younger brother Paul, the Juventus midfielder who made the Fifa Team of the Year.






A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2016, with the headline 'Leo and Ron not on each other's radar'. Print Edition | Subscribe