FIFA Best Player award: Messi votes for Ronaldo
Lionel Messi voted for Cristiano Ronaldo in The FIFA Best Men’s Player award – albeit behind Luka Modric and Kylian Mbappe.
Meanwhile, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr and captain Mikel Obi voted fora Modric and Messi respectively for the top award.
Rohr voted for Modric in the first place and Mbappe in second place. Mikel voted for Messi, who was not shortlisted, as his best player while Mbappe and Modric came second and third in his voting.
After a history of snubs involving world football’s most revered duo, Messi elected to issue Ronaldo with a solitary point in the 2018 vote. It was not enough to propel his nemesis to victory, however, as Modric ended the Ronaldo-Messi stranglehold on the award.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ronaldo was not as kind and cast his three votes for Raphael Varane, Modric and Antoine Griezmann.
International captains and head coaches, plus journalists from FIFA member countries, were invited to pick their top three players from the 2017-18 season – with their first pick receiving five points, second receiving three points, and third receiving one point. Messi and Ronaldo got to vote as captains of Argentina and Portugal respectively.
England’s Golden Boot winner Harry Kane, probably still reeling from his nation’s loss to Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals, opted to ignore Modric’s stellar season in favour of Ronaldo, Messi and Kevin De Bruyne.
Kane was voted the best player by an illustrious trio: Bahamas coach Dion Godet, Chinese Taipei coach Gary White and Vanuatu journalist Nase Raymond. It was not enough to make the final shortlist.