Observations on the 2016 Best FIFA Men's Player voting results

By Seng Foo 10 January 2017
Observations on the 2016 Best FIFA Men's Player voting results

We all know that Cristiano Ronaldo picked up the top gong, but here are a few things that you might have not noticed…

Even though Ronaldo won, there are people who still think that Lionel Messi is the better player. In fact, some think nobody comes close to the Barcelona star literally, such as Avondale Williams. In his voting ballot, the British Virgin Islands coach didn’t fill up the second place, creating a gap between the Argentine maestro and third-placed Paul Pogba.

However, in comparison, Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi was even more absurd and bizarre, only naming Alexis Sanchez in his ballot.

FIFA Best Men's Player 2016

Due to that, the former Spanish striker was one of the 25 people (out of 452 national team coaches, national team captains and media representatives) who did not vote for Ronaldo and Messi at all. Germany captain Manuel Neuer, Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez and Republic of Ireland’s Martin O’Neill were some of the people who also opted to ignore both superstars completely.

And if we narrow down the scope further, Pizzi also did not pick any players from Real Madrid and Barcelona, a rarity indeed considering that players from both clubs dominated the Best FIFA Men's Player shortlist. He shared the “honour” with two other individuals: Samoa gaffer Scott Easthope and Poland coach Adam Nawalka.

That being said, the dominance of the two La Liga giants was clear, with the majority of the voters including at least one Barcelona or Real player in their ballots. Interestingly, 12 actually filled up their ballots entirely with Barca players, while two did the same with Real players.

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You would think that with 23 players being judged by 452 people (especially if they are from the same country), each of the players would place first at least once. Well, have some sympathy for Luka Modric, N'Golo Kante and Dimitri Payet, who got mostly second and third places.

But that’s not as bad as Kevin De Bruyne, who did not get a single vote from the three Belgian representatives. The Belgians could learn a thing or two from Uruguayan and Welsh representatives, who were united in the sense of putting country first as they respectively put Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale at first place.

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Check out the full voting breakdown of the 2016 Best FIFA Men's Player award here

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