Home Football European Football Ronaldo And Messi Completely Snub Each Other As FIFA Releases Full POTY Voting Breakdown

Ronaldo And Messi Completely Snub Each Other As FIFA Releases Full POTY Voting Breakdown

Cristiano Ronaldo beat off competition from arch-rival Lionel Messi to win FIFA’s Men’s Best Player of 2016 on Monday evening.

The Portugal and Real Madrid forward completed a double, having already claimed the Ballon d’Or last month, with a convincing win against Messi and Antoine Griezmann.

To break down that percentage difference further, however, shows where the award was won for Ronaldo. From the below table, it is shown that the biggest disparity between Ronaldo and Messi was with the voting media – in fact if it was down to the fans, Messi would have claimed the award.

Neither Ronaldo nor Messi contributed to the other’s success. The two men get to vote in the award in their role as national team captains, and have made something of a habit of completely ignoring each other when it came to their top three this year.

Both, in fact, picked club teammates – Ronaldo opting for Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos, with Messi choosing Luis Suárez, Neymar and Andrés Iniesta.

The full voting breakdown can be viewed here, but among the talking points are the fact that of England’s representatives, Wayne Rooney and Gareth Southgate, neither one of them had Messi in their top three. Both had Ronaldo as number one, but the captain had Luis Suárez and Leicester’s Jamie Vardy behind him, with the manager opting for Antoine Griezmann and N’Golo Kanté.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill had some very left field choices as he went for Gareth Bale as his winner with Gianluigi Buffon and Kanté behind him, while captain Seamus Coleman’s first time voting saw him opting for the much safer choices of Ronaldo, Messi and Suárez.

Wales manager Chris Coleman also voted for Gareth Bale as his top pick (though that’s less of a surprise) with Alexis Sánchez and Jamie Vardy at two and three, while his captain Ashley Williams had Messi and Robert Lewandowski as his second and third choices (of course with Bale as umber one too).

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 12:  Gareth Bale of Wales competes with Ivan Obradovic of Serbia during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Wales and Serbia at Cardiff City Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan voted for Messi, Suárez and Sergio Aguero, with captain Darren Fletcher going Ronaldo, Suárez, Messi.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill went with Ronaldo, Messi, Griezmann, while captain Steven Davis had the first two in reverse order.

On the subject of Vardy, the England international (who was in the top ten in the Ballon d’Or placing) received votes from 17 sources, and while the vast majority of those were in third place, Turks and Caicos Islands captain Billy Forbes (and manager Oliver Smith). Chinese Taipei boss Kazuo Kuroda and Vanuatu-based journalist Raymond Nase all felt him deserving of the top prize.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13:  Jamie Vardy of Leicester City runs with the ball during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Leicester City at the Vitality Stadium on December 13, 2016 in Bournemouth, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

In among the sea of Ronaldo and Messi choices, there were a few other exceptions. Manuel Neuer, for example ignored the two completely and had compatriots Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil as numbers one and two, with Bayern teammate Robert Lewandowski at number three. (Coach Joachim Low employed a similar tactic, with Neuer himself in place of Lewandowski.)

Kyrgyzstan coach Alexander Krestinin, meanwhile, felt that Ozil should have been given the top honour, while New Zealand captain Chris Wood gave his points to Manchester City and Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.

About Simon O'Keeffe

Simon O'Keeffe
Simon is a football writer here at Pundit Arena. You can contact him at [email protected], or through the Twitter link below

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