FIFA Best Player of 2016 - voting revealed
A look at Ronaldo, Messi and Griezmann's picks.
What’s the story?
FIFA kicked off its inaugural Best Player of the Year award last night with none other than Portuguese icon Cristiano Ronaldo winning the final prize.
The Real Madrid talisman fended off competition from both Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to pick up the prize and yet again wrote himself into the history books as the first ever player to win the award. The list of how each player and manager from around the world voted has now finally been revealed.
In case you didn’t know...
Ronaldo picked up this award just months after he won the Ballon d’Or in December 2016. For the last six years, the world’s best player won the FIFA Ballon d’Or award. However, FIFA ended their association with French magazine ‘France Football’ (who have been handing out the Ballon d’Or since 1956) this year and hence, two separate awards have established.
Ronaldo enjoyed a stellar year with his club Real Madrid and the Portuguese national side winning the Champions League, Club World Cup and the Euro 2016.
The heart of the matter
The voting for the player and coach categories was done by national team captains and coaches, select journalists and, for the first time, an online fan poll.
Each vote counted for 25 percent of the points – 1st getting 5 points, 2nd getting 3 and 3rd getting 1 point.
This was the final result –
Cristiano Ronaldo: 34.54% of total votes
Lionel Messi: 26.42%
Antoine Griezmann: 7.53%
Here is how every national captain and coach voted and here is a selection of each of their picks:
Lionel Messi (Argentina): Suarez, Neymar, Iniesta
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia): Ronaldo, Messi, Griezmann
Dani Alves (Brazil): Messi, Neymar, Suarez
Luka Modric (Croatia): Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar
Wayne Rooney (England): Ronaldo, Suarez, Vardy
Manuel Neuer (Germany): Kroos, Ozil, Lewandowski
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy): Messi, Bale, Ronaldo
Sunil Chhetri(India): Ronaldo, Messi, Griezmann
Arjen Robben (Netherlands): Ronaldo, Kroos, Lewandowski
Steven Davis (Northern Ireland): Messi, Ronaldo, Griezmann
Robert Lewandowski(Poland): Neuer, Bale, Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): Bale, Modric, Ramos
Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland): Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez
Darren Fletcher (Scotland): Ronaldo, Suarez, Messi.
Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia): Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar.
Sergio Ramos (Spain): Ronaldo, Messi, Iniesta.
Martin Skrtel(Slovakia): Suarez, Sergio Ramos, Ronaldo
Igor Akinfeev(Russia): Messi, Ronaldo, Bale
Arda Turan(Turkey): Messi, Neymar, Iniesta
Diego Godin(Uruguay): Suarez, Griezmann, Iniesta
Michale Bradley(USA): Ronaldo, Messi, Griezmann
Ashley Williams (Wales): Bale, Messi, Lewandowski.
Marcelo Lippi(China PR): Ronaldo, Griezmann, Buffon
Gareth Southgate (England): Ronaldo, Griezmann, Kante
Didier Deschamps(France): Griezmann, Ronaldo, Messi
Joachim Low(Germany): Kroos, Ozil, Neuer
Stephan Constantine(India): Bale, Lewandowski, Suarez
Michael O'Neill (Northern Ireland): Ronaldo, Messi, Griezmann
Martin O'Neill (Republic of Ireland): Bale, Buffon, Kante
Gordon Strachan (Scotland): Messi, Suarez, Aguero
Julien Lopetegui (Spain): Messi, Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos
Chris Coleman (Wales): Bale, Sanchez, Vardy.
Ronaldo has now won the first ever FIFA Player of the Year award, so we will have to wait and see who picks it up next. Messi has edged it statistically over the Portuguese star this season, but Real Madrid are in the lead in the race for the La Liga. While both Barcelona and Madrid look deadly in the Champions League, there is still a long way to go and anything can happen.
Players from all over the world now have an additional chance of collecting individual honours with this new award and it could perhaps one day lead to defenders, defensive midfielders or goalkeepers picking up the trophy, like Fabio Cannavaro (Ballon d’Or) did after the 2006 World Cup for Italy.
Instead of both awards just being for attackers, perhaps defenders could get a chance to win it in the future. But of course at the moment it’s most likely going to be between Ronaldo and Messi, so we’ll just have to wait and see.