Report: Cristiano Ronaldo was partly responsible for making Lionel Messi claim FIFA Best Award


FOOTBALL Report: Cristiano Ronaldo was partly responsible for making Lionel Messi claim FIFA Best Award

Mark Kinyanjui 14:20 - 16.01.2024

Why Ronaldo partly helped Lionel Messi win the 2022-2023 FIFA Best Award.

Cristiano Ronaldo may have ironically contributed to Lionel Messi placing his hands on the FIFA Best Men’s award.

The eight-time Ballon d’or winner Messi added yet another award to his accolade, winning the award despite finishing level in the voting with Manchester City star Erling Haaland.

Messi was confirmed as the winner of the award for a record third time, with the Argentina legend edging out Haaland despite the Norwegian's role in Man City's Treble last season.

The votes were accumulated from national team captains, coaches, media and fans, leading to a tie for first place.

The World Cup winner managed to outscore Haaland to win the award after both players had tied on 48 points after votes were tallied, with Kylian Mbappe finishing third on 35 points.

Messi was declared the winner because he received the most first-choice nominations from national team captains, which is why his long-time nemesis Ronaldo may have largely helped gift the Barcelona legend another award after he refused to take part in the voting, instead handing the responsibility over to his Portugal vice captain Pepe.

Messi outscored Haaland on votes from national team captains and fans, scoring 13 points to the striker’s 11. 

Pepe voted for teammate Bernardo Silva, Haaland and Victor Osimhen, and only one of the three players ended up making the top-three.

Coaches and media votes favoured Haaland by the same figures, leading to a tie.

The winner was decided by the highest number of ‘five-point’ scores from votes of men’s national captains under the award’s rules.

Messi totalled 107 five-point scores to scoop the award, with Haaland receiving 64.

If Ronaldo had voted for Haaland, it would have helped boost the Norwegian’s chances of winning the award. 

Furthermore, Messi himself had actually voted for Haaland in first place.

France captain Mbappe selected his former PSG team-mate Messi as his top choice.  

Some of the notable names that voted for Messi for first were England captain Harry Kane, as well as Liverpool trio Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson. Egypt's captain Salah chose Messi, Kevin De Bruyne and Haaland as his top three, while the Man City team-mates would switch around in Van Dijk's selection.

Haaland did receive the backing of some of Man City's Premier League rivals. 

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard, his team-mate at international level with Norway, gave the forward his first-choice vote.

Man United defender Victor Lindelof, Sweden's captain, put the Red Devils rivalry with Man City aside with his selections.

He also unsurprisingly, received the backing of former Man City captain Ilkay Gundogan.

The German national team skipper gave the nod to Haaland over Messi, while he also gave his former midfield partner Rodri a third place vote.

Real Madrid stars Luka Modric and Federico Valverde voted in favour of Messi.

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