ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 11: FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi of Argentina and FC Barcelona looks on during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2015 at the Kongresshaus on January 11, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)

Some very unlikely players received votes for Ballon d’Or

While it wasn’t a surprise, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi won his fifth Ballon d’Or, beating out Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Neymar. On the women’s side, USA’s Carli Lloyd won in equally unsurprising fashion over Germany’s Celia Sasic and Japan’s Aya Miyama.

One of the rare transparent things FIFA ever did was to disclose who everybody voted for in the Ballon d’Or. While Lionel Messi probably deserved all the votes, he didn’t deserve all the votes. Some people voted for some very strange and unlikely people.

In case you didn’t know, each FIFA nation gets a total of three votes. One vote goes to each national team captain, one vote goes to each national team manager and one vote goes to a member of the soccer media in each country. First place gets five points, second gets three points and third gets one point.

FIFA’s list only shows a voter’s top three so unless they say, it’s unknown what their thought process is. To some, like Belgian National Team captain Vincent Kompany, he chose his national teammate Eden Hazard for first place. While others, like Guatemala National Team captain Carlos Ruiz choosing Javier Mascherano for first place, that’s anybody’s guess. Anyway, here are notable sampling of votes ranging from the conventional to the bizarre. There were a lot more bizarre than I originally thought. The full list is here.

– Lionel Messi (Argentina captain): 1st Luis Suarez, 2nd Neymar, 3rd Andres Iniesta

– Vincent Kompany (Belgium captain): 1st Eden Hazard, 2nd Kevin de Bruyne, 3rd Lionel Messi

– Neymar (Brazil captain): 1st Lionel Messi, 2nd Luis Suarez, 3rd Ivan Rakitic

– Stephane Mbia Etoundi (Cameroon captain): 1st Yaya Toure, 2nd Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 3rd Manuel Neuer

– Wayne Rooney (England captain): 1st Lionel Messi, 2nd Thomas Muller, 3rd Cristiano Ronaldo

– Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany captain): 1st Manuel Neuer, 2nd Thomas Muller, 3rd Neymar

– Talant Samsaliev (Kyrgyzstan captain): 1st Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 2nd Manuel Neuer, 3rd Thomas Muller

– Michael Mifud (Malta captain): 1st Thomas Muller, 2nd Manuel Neuer, 3rd Andres Iniesta

– Anthony Griffith (Montserrat captain): 1st Robert Lewandowski, 2nd Sergio Aguero, 3rd Cristiano Ronaldo

– Mehdi El Moutaqui (Morocco captain): 1st Robert Lewandowski, 2nd Arturo Vidal, 3rd Paul Pogba

– Jean-Brice Wadriako (New Caledonia captain): 1st Andres Iniesta, 2nd Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 3rd Karim Benzema

– Chris Wood (New Zealand captain): 1st Robert Lewandowski, 2nd Paul Pogba, 3rd Kevin de Bruyne

– Claudio Pizarro Bossio (Peru captain): 1st Manuel Neuer, 2nd Thomas Muller, 3rd Toni Kroos

– Robert Lewandowski (Poland captain): 1st Manuel Neuer, 2nd Arturo Vidal, 3rd Thomas Muller

– Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal captain): 1st Karim Benzema, 2nd James Rodriguez, 3rd Gareth Bale

– Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland captain): 1st Cristiano Ronaldo, 2nd Lionel Messi, 3rd Neymar

– Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden captain): 1st Lionel Messi, 2nd Luis Suarez, 3rd Neymar

– Michael Bradley (USA captain): 1st: Lionel Messi, 2nd Cristiano Ronaldo, 3rd Luis Suarez

– Fenedy Masauvakalo (Vanuatu captain): 1st Paul Pogba, 2nd Thomas Muller, 3rd Alexis Sanchez

In terms of managers, USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann went Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo, while the most peculiar vote out of the more well known managers goes to Germany’s Jogi Low. He went homer with his picks with Neuer, Muller and Kroos

Phillip Bupp

About Phillip Bupp

Managing editor for 32 Flags, news editor for The Comeback and staff writer for Awful Announcing. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me @phillipbupp, @32flags as well as @MLSTitleBelt, a project where the title holder must defend the title in every MLS game.