Lionel Messi has won his fourth Ballon d’Or title, winning the prestigious award over runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo and third-place team-mate Andres Iniesta.
According to the list of votes published by FIFA, out of 483 captains, coaches and journalists who voted in the Ballon d’Or ceremony, 45 left out Lionel Messi, who won the award for the fourth consecutive year, from their top three players in the world.
The voting list reveals some decisions that would raise a few eyebrows, but there are some that can be considered as particularly surprising.
Here are our favorites -
Spanish captain Iker Casillas has voted Sergio Ramos for the first place, Ronaldo for the 2nd and Xavi for 3rd.
Surprisingly, Casillas’ La Liga rival Lionel Messi was deemed not good enough for his liking.
Lionel Messi, who had no room for Cristiano Ronaldo, used his votes on Barcelona team mates Andres Iniesta (1st), Xavi (2nd) and Argentinian team mate Sergio Aguero (3rd).
Captain Steven Gerrard voted for Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso in that order.
Meanwhile, Indian Football Team Captain, Sunil Chhetri and the Coach Wim Koevermans picked Andres Iniesta for the first place followed by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Somewhat staggeringly, French Captain, Hugo Lloris omitted all the three favorites for the award by voting for Casillas, Falcao and Drogba in that order.
German Captain Philipp Lahm backed Iniesta over Messi and Ronaldo.
Swedish captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic picked Xavi for the first place, Andrea Pirlo for 2nd and Messi for the 3rd position while Swedish coach Erik Hamren voted for Swedish captain Zlatan Ibrahimovich as number one, and had no room for Messi.
Wesley Sneijder’s favorite for the award was team mate Robin van Persie, followed by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Pirlo was picked for the first place by Italian captain Buffon, followed by Messi and Ronaldo.
And the ones that caught our eye were -
The Coach of Thailand, Winfried Schaefer, voted for Sergio Busquets as the best player in the World.
Mario Balotelli got his one vote from Fahed Attal, the captain of the Palestine team (who placed him 3rd).
The Captain of Algeria, Madjid Bougherra, voted for Karim Benzema as the best player in the world.
The captain of Lithuania, Tomas Danilevicius, voted for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Gerard Pique, in that order.
The captain of South Africa, Bongani Khumalo, voted for Yaya Toure, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
The media from US Virgin Islands, Kyrgystan, Burma and Barbados did not cast their votes.
(Source – FIFA, @FootballFact101)