Who voted for who in Best FIFA Football Awards? Messi’s, Cristiano’s, Kane’s votes…


Each edition of FIFA’s Best awards gives rise to curiosity and controversy due to the voting that is made public once the winner is known. Lionel Messi, after a season far from his vintage but which included the World Cup triumph, has once again been crowned the best male outfield player — and this is how The Best ceremony 2022 all panned out — but the intricacies of the voting offer some interesting details that warrant some attention.

The surprising votes from certain national team selectors and team captains have become a topic of discussion, filling several pages across social media. FIFA published the final results and below are some of the picks that caught our attention.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player: who voted for who?

  • Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr, ignored by FIFA and FIFPro, appeared in the votes of the captains of Barbados, Congo, Egypt*, Kosovo and Romania. Among the national team managers, he received the votes of: Dominican Republic, Barbados, Ethiopia, Nepal, Slovakia, Togo, Cameroon, England, Eritrea, Gambia, Georgia, Papua New Guinea, Serbia and the Solomon Islands.
    • *Egypt captain Mohamed Salah went for Vinicius as his number one, followed by Kevin de Bruyne and Achraf Hakimi. (Egypt coach Rui Vitória chose the Liverpool man as his first choice!)
  • Luis de la Fuente, the current Spanish coach, chose Julián Álvarez as the best player. Bellingham and Modric, second and third for him. Spanish captain Sergio Busquets went with former teammate Messi, following up with current teammate Lewandowski and rival Benzema.
  • Aliou Cissé, Senegal coach: Mbappé and Achraf, ahead of Mané.
  • Didier Deschamps, France coach: Benzema, behind Mbappé.
  • Robert Lewandowski, captain of Poland: Messi, Mbappé and Modric.
  • Harry Kane, England captain: Messi, Mané and Benzema
  • Messi voted for Neymar ahead of Mbappé and Benzema.
  • The North Korea captain opted for Modric, along with coaches of Brunei, India and Oman.
  • The Benin, Niger and Comoros captains (among others) went with Sadio Mané.
  • Portugal’s Pepe (who took the vote ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo) ignored Messi from his three of Mbappé, Modric and Benzema.
  • David Alaba, Austria’s captain and now Real Madrid player chose Messi over Benzema.
  • Gabon, Botswana, Liechtenstein, as well as the aforementioned Spanish coach, all voted for Julián Álvarez in first place.
  • Modric opted for Benzema ahead of Messi and Mbappé.
  • Record-smashing Erling Haaland surprisingly didn’t get much attention.

FIFA have published the full list of votes for The Best Men’s Player.

Links to the full lists of how the captains and coaches of national teams from around the world voted can be found below:

The operation of voting for The Best

First, a group of experts representing FIFA and external football interest groups make a shortlist of candidates. Specifically, each member chooses who they consider to be the three best players, coaches and goalkeepers. And, with these decisions, two lists (of eleven candidates each) are drawn up for the best male and female player, another of five coaches and another of five goalkeepers.

After these candidates are confirmed, a second phase of the voting takes place, in which the jury is made up of different groups from the world of football. There are four groups:

  • The captains and captains of the 211 soccer teams that are members of FIFA.
  • The selectors of the 211 FIFA member teams.
  • A chosen journalist who represents each nation.
  • Fans registered with FIFA.com who vote online.

Each group represents 25%, so they all have the same power and value, and the criteria of some over others no longer count. They choose their top three from the above lists of candidates, giving five, three or one point.

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