Cristiano Ronaldo picked up his second straight Fifa Ballon d’Or on Monday, seeing off competition from Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer to become the fifth person to win the award three times in his career.
In its current format, international coaches and captains have a vote alongside journalists, who previously decided its recipient until 2010. But who did each country’s media representative pick for the calendar year of 2014?
The most striking result was that Ronaldo was second in Argentina journalist Enrique Sacco’s picks, behind Messi and ahead of Neuer, but Portugal‘s Joaquim Rota did not include Leo in his top three, with Cristiano top, Arjen Robben second and Angel Di Maria third.
The top two both ply their trade in Spain and Alfredo Relano was in no doubt as to who deserved the award. Ronaldo was top, Neuer was second and Messi was third.
The German Karlheinz Wild was far more partisan, voting for three of his compatriots. Neuer first, Thomas Muller second and World Cup-winning skipper Philipp Lahm in third place.
Brazil were hosts of the tournament but Cleber Machado was suitably impressed by Ronaldo to give him top spot, despite his group stage exit with Portugal, with two of the tournament’s stars, Arjen Robben and Muller completing his trio of votes.
Robben proved to be popular among the media. Netherlands‘ Frans van den Nieuwenhof having his countryman in third behind Ronaldo and Neuer. France‘s Gerard Ejnes had him second, behind Ronaldo and ahead of his Bayern keeper, but there was no place for him among Paolo Condo of Italy‘s votes, with Ronaldo, Neuer and Di Maria filling the top three spots.
Lahm came sixth overall but the England‘s Henry Winter would have had him on the podium, behind Ronaldo and Neuer.
Elsewhere, the Antiguan Baptiste Neto and St Lucian Lawrence James voted for Mario Gotze, whose goal won the World Cup for Germany, while James Rodriguez’s exploits for Colombia in the summer saw him backed by Bhutan and Bolivia.
Toni Kroos was the selection of Rodrigo Calvo Castro of Costa Rica, while Colombia‘s Andrade Pache went for Bastian Schweinsteiger. The only Serie A star to be voted among someone’s top three was Paul Pogba, who topped Luc Ollivier of Tahiti‘s list. But there were no left-field picks from North Korea‘s Ri Dong Gyu, who went for Ronaldo and Messi as his top two.