The votes of football awards are always dissected in the aftermath and the 2018 The Best FIFA awards showed that Lionel Messi included Cristiano Ronaldo in his top three for the first time, ranking the Portuguese third behind Luka Modric and Kylian Mbappe.
Since he has been able to vote as captain of Argentina, from 2011, Messi has always chosen someone from either his home nation or Barcelona, and in several years both.
Votes by Messi:
2011: Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta, [Sergio] Aguero
2012: Iniesta, Xavi, Aguero
2013: Iniesta, Xavi, Neymar
2014: [Angel] Di Maria, Iniesta, [Javier] Mascherano
2015: [Luis] Suarez, Neymar, Iniesta
2016: Suarez, Neymar, Iniesta
2017: Suarez, Iniesta, Neymar
2018: [Luka] Modric, [Kylian] Mbappe, [Cristiano] Ronaldo
Elsewhere, the votes made by some of the biggest captains in the world are noteworthy.
Brazil captain Joao Miranda went for Cristiano, Mbappe and Messi; Colombia’s Radamel Falcao opted for Modric, Cristiano and Mbappe; Modric himself voted for Raphael Varane, Cristiano and Antoine Griezmann; Lloris rewarded his national teammates by going for Varane, Griezmann and Mbappe; Manuel Neuer voted for Eden Hazard, Modric and Varane; and Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini opted for his new teammate Cristiano, Modric and Salah.
In addition, Spain captain Sergio Ramos voted for Modric, Cristiano and Messi; Ronaldo went for Varane, Modric and Griezmann; and Diego Godin was the only person to give all three points to Griezmann, his teammate, ahead of Salah and Modric.
Among the coaches, new Spain boss Luis Enrique voted for Messi, Modric and Salah; Lionel Scaloni, the caretaker coach of Argentina, opted for Messi, Modric and Griezmann; and the World Cup-winning coach, Didier Deschamps, went for Griezmann, Varane and Mbappe.
Roberto Martinez, the Spaniard in charge of Belgium, did not vote for any of his own players and voted for Modric, Varane and Messi; Tite, Brazil’s coach, did the same as he went for Modric, Salah and Cristiano; Portugal’s Fernando Santos opted for Cristiano, Modric and Hazard; and finally, the coach for the runners-up of the World Cup, Croatia’s Zlatko Dalic, voted for Modric, Messi and Cristiano.