Lionel Messi swept the 2015 Ballon d’Or vote, taking more than 40% of the total ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
The voting for football’s most prestigious individual award was done by the captain, manager and one selected journalist for each country that is a member association of FIFA.
Every year after the winner has been announced FIFA then release the data of who voted for who and it’s always interesting to see exactly what went on..
To start off with, who did Messi himself vote for? The Argentina captain opted for a clean sweep of club colleagues, overlooking his arch rival at Real Madrid and choosing Luis Suarez as his number one, Neymar as number two, and Andres Iniesta as number three.
Neymar didn’t choose Ronaldo either. The Brazilian captain went with Messi first, Suarez second and Barcelona team-mate Ivan Rakitic in third. Suarez got the backing of Uruguay captain, Diego Godin, who put the striker first.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s own time at Barcelona didn’t work out, but that didn’t stop him choosing Messi, Suarez and Neymar, in that order.
Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo, as captain of Portugal, didn’t vote for Messi and kept it strictly an all-Bernabeu affair. He chose Karim Benzema as his first choice, followed by James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale.
Portugal manager Fernando Santos voted for Messi, but only after he’d voted for Ronaldo. But Argentina boss Tata Martino only voted for Argentines. Messi was at the top of his trio, with Sergio Aguero and Javier Mascherano second and third, respectively.
Interestingly, Iran boss Carlos Queiroz, who was seen as something of a father figure to Ronaldo during his career at Manchester United, voted for Messi first.
Colombia captain Rodriguez voted for club-mate Ronaldo as his number one, with Benzema second and Bale third. The World’s most expensive player was chosen as number one by his Wales national team captain, Ashley Williams, though, and his national team manager, Chris Coleman.
Poor England manager Roy Hodgson was ripped to shreds on social media for choosing Javier Mascherano as the best player in the world in 2014. This time, the Three Lions boss went for Ronaldo as his number one choice, with Messi in second and Eden Hazard in third.
As England captain, Wayne Rooney didn’t use his number one vote on his former Manchester United team-mate. The 30-year-old instead identified Messi as the top individual in 2015, followed by Thomas Muller, and only then did he go for Ronaldo.
Polish captain Robert Lewandowski only voted for Bayern Munich team-mates, opting for Manuel Neuer (1), Arturo Vidal (2) and Thomas Muller (3).
Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger also put Neuer at the top of his list. Muller was his second choice, and Neymar his third. Muller was actually the number one choice of Malta’s Michael Mifsud.
Vincent Kompany mostly stayed loyal to Belgium with his votes, choosing Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne ahead of Messi in third place. Manager Marc Wilmots wasn’t quite so loyal, choosing Neuer as his number one.
Germany’s World Cup winning coach Joachim Low chose Neuer as well, followed by Muller and then Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos.
Brazil’s Dunga voted for Neymar, then Messi, then Ronaldo. Chile’s Jorge Sampaoli, himself a finalist for Coach of the Year, chose two of his own players in Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, but only after voting for Messi first.
As always there were one or two rather random choices. Pakistan head coach, Mohammad Al-Shamlan, voted for ageing Dutch winger Arjen Robben as the best player in the world in 2015. Perhaps he’s still catching up on footage from 2010.
You can find the full list of all the votes cast ?HERE