Brazilian footballers choose Messi over Neymar as world's best
Lionel Messi voted world's best footballer ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar
Lionel Messi has been unanimously voted the world's best footballer, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, in a UOL Esporte survey taken by players from the Campeonato Brasileiro.
Of the 100 anonymous votes cast - from clubs including Sao Paulo, Corinthians, Santos, Palmeiras, Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense, Botafogo and Internacional - the Barcelona and Argentina forward garnered an overwhelming 90 per cent of the poll.
Ronaldo ranked second with a comparatively small seven per cent of votes going towards the Real Madrid star, while Brazil's own homegrown talent, Neymar, shared third place alongside two other Barca players - Andres Iniesta and Xavi - with a meagre one per cent of support.
The result means that all three nominees for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or award were recognised by footballers in Brazil's top-flight, with their allegiance to their compatriot, and fellow Brasileiro player Neymar having little impact in swaying the outcome.
However, the 20-year-old Santos striker was voted the best Brazilian player at present in a separate poll by the same players, receiving an emphatic 89 per cent of support by the respondents.