Lionel Messi won a fourth successive Ballon d’Or this week, but who voted for whom in the polling for this year’s award?
Captains and Coaches from each national team and a selected leading journalist from each country each cast a vote to determine their top three choices for best player of 2012.
Players ranked first in each vote received five points, with second place awarded three points and third one point.
Messi was confirmed as having picked up 41.60 per cent of the total vote, finishing ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s 23.68 per cent share and Andres Iniesta’s 10.91 per cent.
FIFA have revealed the details behind the year’s votes, demonstrating that La Liga’s dominance stretched as far as sixth place in the player category, with Xavi Hernandez finishing fourth, Radamel Falcao picked as fifth and Iker Casillas listed in sixth place. The first non-La Liga-based player in the ranking was Andrea Pirlo in seventh.
Meanwhile, Messi’s vote as Argentina captain went to Iniesta, with Xavi second and Sergio Aguero third, whilst similarly Bruno Alves, in Ronaldo’s place as captain of Portugal, returned the favour on his behalf by voting for Ronaldo, Falcao and then Robin van Persie.
Whilst Argentina’s Coach Alejandro Sabella continued the pattern by yielding votes to Messi, Aguero and Falcao, Portugal’s Paulo Bento listed Messi as third in his pick, behind Ronaldo and Falcao.
Iker Casillas voted for club and country teammate Sergio Ramos as the best in the world, with Ronaldo listed second and Xavi in third, whilst Vicente del Bosque picked Casillas, Xavi and Iniesta in that order.
In other votes cast, Sergio Busquets was held as the best in the world by Thailand Coach Winfried Schaefer, whilst Karim Benzema was selected as number one by Algeria captain Madjid Bougherra, just as Jamaica captain Shavar Thomas picked Xabi Alonso.
In the voting for Coach of the Year, won by Del Bosque with 34.51 per cent, ahead of Jose Mourinho’s 20.49 per cent and Pep Guardiola’s 12.91 per cent, Messi picked Guardiola, Del Bosque and Mourinho in that order, whilst Casillas went for club over country, selecting Mourinho, then Del Bosque, then Roberto Di Matteo.
Del Bosque voted for Guardiola, Di Matteo and finally the man he defeated in Euro 2012’s final Cesare Prandelli.
In the media votes, Spain’s representative Paco Aguilar voted for Iniesta, Messi and Ronaldo in the player category, and Del Bosque, Prandelli and Guardiola in the Coach category.