Lionel Messi voted for Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez to win the 2015 Ballon d’Or and Cristiano Ronaldo picked Karim Benzema to claim the award – but both players failed to name each other in their top three.
Messi was announced as the winner of the award for the fifth time at a ceremony in Zurich on Monday night, beating second-placed Ronaldo and Neymar to the prize.
But, as captains of their respective nations, both players were invited to vote for the winner and picked players who did not land a spot in the top three.
Barcelona stars Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta made up Messi’s top three, while Ronaldo voted for Benzema, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale.
Messi and Ronaldo were not the only notable stars to vote for a player to win who missed out on the top three entirely.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Manchester United midfielder andGermany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger both voted for Manuel Neuer to claim the award.
Wales captain Ashley Williams voted for international team-mate Gareth Bale as his winner, with Messi second and Robert Lewandowski third.
England star Wayne Rooney voted for Messi to win the Ballon d’Or, with former Manchester United team-mate Ronaldo in third and Bayern’s Thomas Muller in second place.
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, now of Arsenal, picked Blues star Eden Hazard as his third choice, behind Messi and Lewandowski.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Hugo Lloris’s top threes, meanwhile, reflected how the overall voting transpired, with Messi winning, Ronaldo finishing second and Neymar third.
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