Ballon d'Or 2015: Did Cristiano Ronaldo vote for Lionel Messi?

Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi talks to fellow nominee Neymar, as Cristiano Ronaldo looks on
Cristiano Ronaldo (right) lost his Ballon d'Or crown to Lionel Messi (centre)

Did World Cup winning manager Joachim Low really not pick Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar in his top three for the 2015 Ballon d'Or?

Who made Gareth Bale their number one choice?

And which former Premier League star on the 23-man long list failed to win the backing of his brother?

BBC Sport analyses the votes by almost 500 national team captains, coaches and media representatives...

More on the 2015 Ballon d'Or
Messi wins fifth Ballon d'Or award
Sharp Pogba outdresses the rest
Does Messi fit the 'perfect' Ballon d'Or mould?

Tactical voting by Messi and Ronaldo?

Argentina's Messi and Portugal's Ronaldo were each given a vote as the captain of their respective countries.

But, not for the first time, the two great rivals refused to name the other in their top three.

Messi picked Barca team-mates Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta, while Real Madrid's Ronaldo sided with his club colleagues Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale.

Brazil captain Neymar also showed loyalty to Barcelona, naming Messi, Suarez and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic as his top three.

Ballon d'Or winner

Another left-field choice from Hodgson?

England manager Roy Hodgson raised eyebrows last year when he voted for Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano to win the 2014 award and chose not to pick Messi or Ronaldo in his top three.

Hodgson plumped for a more conventional vote this year, but Messi did not impress everyone...

Who the home nations coaches voted for
Coach1st2nd3rd
Roy Hodgson (England)Cristiano RonaldoLionel MessiEden Hazard
Gordon Strachan (Scotland)Cristiano RonaldoThomas MullerLionel Messi
Chris Coleman (Wales)Gareth BaleCristiano RonaldoEden Hazard
Michael O'Neill (Northern Ireland)Luis SuarezRobert LewandowskiLionel Messi
Who the home nations captains voted for
Captain1st2nd3rd
Wayne Rooney (England)Lionel MessiThomas MullerCristiano Ronaldo
Scott Brown (Scotland)Robert LewandowskiCristiano RonaldoThomas Muller
Ashley Williams (Wales)Gareth BaleLionel MessiRobert Lewandowski
Steven Davis (Northern Ireland)Lionel MessiCristiano RonaldoNeymar

Who was the best of the British?

Unsurprisingly (as he was the only Briton in the 23-man long list), it was Wales forward Gareth Bale.

The Real Madrid player remains the world's most expensive player and had an excellent year in helping steer Wales to the Euro 2016 finals.

But he was only nominated as the world's best by four people, including his Wales captain Ashley Williams and coach Chris Coleman.

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale finished 16th overall with four top votes, one second place and six third places - including Real Madrid team-mates James Rodriguez and Cristiano Ronaldo

The Premier League struggles as Spain reigns

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Remember when the Premier League was considered to have the world's best players? Not any more.

Five players from the English top-flight were eligible to receive votes, but not one received more than 1.3% of the share.

Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard led the way with 59 points in Fifa's voting system, ahead of Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez (53) and Manchester City trio Yaya Toure (40), Sergio Aguero (39) and Kevin de Bruyne (21).

For context, Messi received 1,666 points.

Messi
Players received five points for being picked first, three for second and one for third

Pogba family values

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba arrived at Monday's ceremony with his mother Yeo as his guest - surely the France international would receive the support of his older sibling in the all-important vote?

Pogba
St Etienne defender Florentin Pogba cheered on his brother by wearing a Juve shirt at last year's Champions League final - but voted for Messi, Ronaldo and Neuer instead

Showing solidarity

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez got 25 top-three votes - two at number one - for helping Chile win the Copa America
Germany
Germany boss Joachim Low picked three of his players - with no place for Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar

#BallondOr tops Twitter trending

Between midday and 20:00 GMT there were 1.3 million tweets using #BallondOr, which became the number one worldwide trend.

Lionel Messi and Neymar

In contrast to Messi's 1.8 million, the term 'Ronaldo' featured 317,000 times during the same eight hours and upon winning the award, a new hashtag - #Messi5 - was used around 83,000 times in a little over an hour.

Referencing his five wins, #Messi5 was colourfully shared by Barcelona, with over 17,000 people re-tweeting this effort.

FC Barcelona Twitter

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