Lionel Messi record fifth FIFA Ballon d’Or award continued the duopoly of the award he enjoys with Ronaldo that has lasted since Brazilian Kaka claimed top honours in 2007.
But some clearly disagreed, including Pakistan coach Basheer Al Shamlan Mohammad Shamlan Mubarak who thought Arjen Robben – the Dutch winger blighted by injury for much of the year – was the outstanding player, followed by Karim Benzema and then Cristiano Ronaldo.
The former Bahrain international was clearly also not a fan of football’s latest phenomenon, the deadly attacking trio known as MSN (Messi, Suarez, Neymar), despite the three scoring 180 goals between and guiding Barcelona to five trophies in 2015.
Messi took 41.33 percent of the votes followed by the Portuguese and Real Madrid forward (27.76 percent), with Brazil and Barcelona forward Neymar third (7.86 per cent).
Another rather strange selection was Barcelona and Argentina defender Javier Mascherano, who received 11 votes – five of which listed him first. Two of his first-place votes came from the captain and manager of Guatemala.
Initially started as the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1991, it became known as the Ballon d’Or after merging with France Football’s European footballer of the year award in 2010.
The award, shared exclusively between Messi and Real Madrid’s Ronaldo since Brazilian Kaka won in 2007, has been heavily promoted by FIFA and was broadcast to 190 countries with 1,100 guests including players and coaches attending the ceremony.
But it is not everyone’s cup of tea and some critics, such as Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, say it is not appropriate in a team sport.
“I’m a big enemy of the Ballon d’Or. Who will win it? You know as well as I do that it’s certainly Messi who will win it. I think so. Overall I’m not a big fan of that,” the Frenchman said earlier on Monday.
The breakdown presented by FIFA also revealed tactical voting among the 165 national team coaches, 162 national team captains and 171 media representatives who cast votes.
Messi, eligible to vote as Argentina captain, named Barcelona team mates Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta as his top three.
Portugal captain Ronaldo choose three Real Madrid team mates — Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale.
Belgium captain Vincent Kompany opted for his compatriots Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne as his top two.
More surprisingly, Spain captain Iker Casillas — the former Real Madrid goalkeeper who now plays for Portuguese club Porto — was among those who did not vote.
Parist Saint-Germain striker Ibrahimovic ignored Real Madrid star, Ronaldo, who is tipped to replace him at the club next season, and voted for the Barcelona trio of MSN for the award.
Here is the complete list of the voting that took place for the 2015 Ballon d’or.