The votes for the FIFA The Best award have been revealed, giving some insights how the captains of various national teams voted.
Obviously, the big winner was Lionel Messi, and it should perhaps not be any surprise that the two FC Barcelona players to vote gave their #1 votes to him.
Sergio Busquets, representing Spain, voted for Messi, Robert Lewandowski, and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, in that order.
For his part, Lewandowski, representing Poland, voted for Messi, Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé, and Real Madrid’s Luka Modrić.
Lewandowski was the only Barcelona player nominated for the men’s award, and he received votes from 23 players. coaches, and sportswriters. Notably, Germany captain Manuel Neuer and coach Hansi Flick voted him third. So too, did former Portugal and current Poland coach Fernando Santos, who voted for Mbappé first and Messi second. Luis Fernando Suárez, the coach of Costa Rica, was the only person to vote for Lewandowski as the #1. Overall, Lewandowski finished 12th, with 7 points.
Speaking of Portugal, former Real Madrid player Pepe was in charge of the votes instead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who usually captains them. He voted for Mbappé, Modrić, and Benzema. Portugal’s current coach, Roberto Martínez, voted for Messi, Kevin De Bruyne, and Mbappé.
Modrić himself voted for his teammate Benzema first, followed by Messi and Mbappé. David Alaba, another Madrid player, caused quite the stir with his vote, which went #1 Messi, #2 Benzema, and #3 Mbappé.
His decision to put a former Barcelona player first resulted in outrage from some Madrid fans, some of whom abused him online, even resorting to racist attacks. The defender was forced to release a statement afterwards saying his vote was decided by the Austrian national team as a whole and that he always admired his teammate, Benzema.
While Lewandowski was the only Barcelona player nominated on the men’s side, the women’s side was a different story.
Aitana Bonmatí, Keira Walsh, and Alexia Putellas were nominated for the award, with Putellas winning it for a second time. Bonmatí finished 5th and Walsh 13th.
In addition, Sandra Paños García-Villamil was nominated for The Best Women’s Goalkeeper, She finished 4th for the award.
No Barcelona players made it onto the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 but four made the FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11: Putellas, Walsh, Lucy Bronze, and María León.