Thursday 8 December 2016

Comfortable Messi win, bias voting and Mascherano support - 5 things we learned from 2015 Ballon d'Or

Published 11/01/2016 | 20:23

Dani Alves, Brazil, Neymar, Lionel Messi, Barcelona technical director Robert Fernandez and Spain and Andres Iniesta pose at the end of the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremony
Dani Alves, Brazil, Neymar, Lionel Messi, Barcelona technical director Robert Fernandez and Spain and Andres Iniesta pose at the end of the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremony

Lionel Messi won FIFA'a Ballon d'Or for a fifth time on Monday night, beating off team-mate Neymar and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. Here are five things we learned from the night.

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It wasn't close

Messi ended up with 41.33 per cent of the votes with Ronaldo back on 27.76. Many find it hard to chose between the two on a wider level, but in 2015 there was no contest.

The Welsh look after their own

In the detailed breakdown of the voting, Wales coach Chris Coleman and captain Ashley Williams both nominated Gareth Bale as the winner. The Real Madrid man did not make the podium but at least had support from his friends while he will be happy to see Ronaldo - despite everlasting talk that they do not get alone - voted him in third.

Wayne Rooney voted for Jose Mourinho

In the coach of the year voting, Manchester United and England skipper Rooney nominated Chelsea's title-winning coach Jose Mourinho as his top boss. Little did he know that within weeks of the nomination that Mourinho would be sacked and his face adorning scarves outside Old Trafford.

Lionel Messi speaks with Cristiano Ronaldo after winning
Lionel Messi speaks with Cristiano Ronaldo after winning

Javier Mascherano retains support

Last year, England boss Roy Hodgson was derided for picking Barcelona enforcer Mascherano as his man man. He did not go back there this year - putting Ronaldo at one - but the Argentinean did get some number one votes. Gautemala captain Humberto Carlos Ruiz, Mauritania skipper Oumar N'Diaye and Norway captain Per Ciljan Skjelbred were amongst those who went for him.

Messi and Ronaldo do not vote for each other

This sort of stands to reason. Why would you boost your main rival for the award? As mentioned, Ronaldo put Bale at three behind Real team-mates Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez. Messi went with a Barcelona trio of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta.

Lionel Messi receives the Ballon d'or during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2015
Lionel Messi receives the Ballon d'or during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2015

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