Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
Following Lionel Messi’s historic fourth straight Ballon d’Or award on Monday night, FIFA have released the documentation showing how the Barcelona striker was joined by Andres Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the landmark football trophy.
Those entitled to vote for World Player of the Year were international coaches, international captains and a select few media personalities from around the globe.
Some interesting observations for the voting data:
Apart from the three finalists, other players who received votes for the World Player of the Year award included Yaya Toure, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Sergio Aguero, Andrea Pirlo, Didier Drogba, Gigi Buffon, Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas, Mesut Ozil, Karim Benzema, Serio Busquets, Manuel Neuer, Radamel Falcao and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Mario Balotelli received one nomination from Palestine captain Fahed Attal.
Swansea and Wales captain Ashely Williams voted for Robin van Persie as his third choice: just weeks after the defender got into a confrontation with the Dutchman when smacking a ball at his head. (Note, Williams’ cast his votes a while before the Swansea-Manchester United match.)
Nigeria coach Keshi Stephen was the only voter who did not select either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. The African manager selected Yaya Touré, Dider Drogba and Robin van Persie as his top three.
A breakdown of the votes is immediately below, while below the fold are the completed Ballon d’Or World Player of the Year nominations.