No Roy Hodgson vote for Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi
England manager Roy Hodgson has raised eyebrows after deciding not to vote for winner Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi in the Ballon d'Or ballot.
Instead, Hodgson plumped for Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano as the world's best player of 2014.
Hodgson's other choices were Germany duo Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer.
"Ronaldo and Messi are the best players on the planet, how could they both possibly not be in your top three?" tweeted ex-England star Gary Lineker.
Former Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Liverpool forward Stan Collymore said: "Interesting insight into Roy Hodgson and his philosophy. Not one creative flair player in his choices for BDO."
And ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher added: "Love Roy Hodgson going for a clean sheet with his Ballon D'or picks. 1) Mascherano 2) Lahm 3) Neuer."
Scotland boss Gordon Strachan voted for Ronaldo, Chelsea's Spain striker Diego Costa and Bayern Munich and Netherlands winger Arjen Robben.
Wales counterpart Chris Coleman had Wales talisman Gareth Bale as his player of the year, with Ronaldo and Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger completing his top three.
Apart from Hodgson, the only other person to put Barcelona midfielder Mascherano - who played for Hodgson at Liverpool - top was Belarus boss Andrei Zygmantovich.
However, notables with Mascherano in their top three included team-mates Neymar and Messi.
Ronaldo, 29, won for the second year running, and third time in his career, with 37.66% of all the votes cast by the 181 national team coaches, 182 national captains and 181 media representatives included in the electorate.
The Portugal captain, who helped Real Madrid win an unprecedented 10th European Cup title in May, beat Barcelona forward Messi (15.76%) and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer (15.72%) to the award.
Neither Ronaldo nor Messi voted for each other in their top three - in a repeat of last year.
Messi, 27, chose fellow Argentine Angel Di Maria and Barcelona team-mates Andres Iniesta and Mascherano while Ronaldo plumped for Sergio Ramos, Bale and Karim Benzema, all team-mates at Real Madrid.
England captain Wayne Rooney awarded Ronaldo, his former Manchester United team-mate, his first vote.
His second pick was Germany midfielder Toni Kroos and third was Bale, both of whom play their club football for Real Madrid and have been linked with moves to Old Trafford.
In fact, 82 of the captains who voted found no place for four-time winner Messi in their top three.
Other Ballon d'Or quirks
There was surprise at the inclusion of Brazil's David Luiz in the Fifpro World XI of the year.
Former Chelsea defender Luiz, who left Jose Mourinho's Blues to join Paris St-Germain for a reported £40m last summer, played at centre-back in Brazil's 7-1 defeat by Germany in their World Cup semi-final.
The choice was widely ridiculed on social media. Pundit and former Norway international Jan Aage Fjortoft was among those surprised by Luiz's inclusion. He said: "David Luiz. Can't defend. Losing 7-1 vs Germany. Mourinho sent him away. Still World XI Award!!! Marvin Gaye: What's Going On?"
Three of Mario Gotze's five first-place votes came from the small Caribbean island of St Lucia - with their captain, coach and journalist all voting for the Germany World Cup winner.
Bale, the only Briton on the shortlist, finished 12th with 1% of the vote. However, if only UK votes counted he would be second with 16%.
Other leading Ballon d'Or awards
Germany's World Cup winner Joachim Low won men's coach of the year.
Wolfsburg boss Ralf Kellermann was named women's coach of the year after a successful defence of the Champions League and Wolfsburg and Germany midfielder Nadine Kessler was named women's player of the year.
Team of the year
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich)
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Brazil/Paris St-Germain), David Luiz (Brazil/Paris St-Germain), Philipp Lahm (Germany/Bayern Munich)
Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Spain/Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Angel Di Maria (Argentina/Manchester United)
Forwards: Arjen Robben (Netherlands/Bayern Munich), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid)