On Monday, Lionel Messi became the first man to win five Ballo d’Or awards, beating other finalists Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar by getting more than 40% of votes.
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) January 11, 2016
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.
It does not end there.
FIFA continued in its tradition of releasing the data of who voted for who, and as usual some interesting choice of surprising votes came to light.
We still remember the drama on social media when Roy Hodgson voted Mascherano as the best player in 2014.
Roy Hodgson voted for Ronaldo, Messi and Edin Hazard, a much more sane choice of votes this time.
Cristiano Ronaldo voted Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale, keeping it in the Los Blancos.
Lionel Messi choice stayed in Camp Nou too, as he voted Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta.
Neymar followed in the same Blaugrana patriotism as he voted for Messi, Lusi Suarez and Ivan Rakitic.
Wayne Rooney left out his former club mate as his first choice, voting Messi, Thomas Muller and then Ronaldo.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s choices looked like he still had fond memories of his time in Cataluna. He voted Messi, Suarez and Neymar.
Spain’s coach, Del Bosque Gonzalez Vicente went for a Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta vote.
Ronaldo’s club mate and Colombia’s captain, James Rodriguez did a Brenabeu hat trick, voting for Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale.
Finalist for Coach of the Year, Jorge Sampaoli of Chile voted Messi, Arturo Vidal, and Alexis Sanchez, expressing his Chilean pride.
Record breaking Polish captain, Robert Lewandowski went the Bavarian way, voting Manuel Neuer, Arturo VIdal and Thomas Muller as his best players for 2015.
Brazil’s coach Dunga voted Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo.
Joachim Low voted a German trio of Neuer, Muller and Toni Kroos.
Nigeria’s captain, Ahmed Musa showed his preference for African players but couldn’t make any his number one choice. He voted Messi, Ronaldo and Toure Yaya.
Arjen Robben, as Netherlands captain voted a Messi, Neymar, Suarez combo.
Manchester City’s defender and captain of Belgium, Vincent Kompany voted Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Messi.
Bastian Schweinsteiger voted Neuer, Muller, and Neymar.
To see the rest of the votes, download the official FIFA document here.