Robert Lewandowski was crowned the best male footballer of 2021 at FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards on Monday night.
Having missed out on the Ballon d’Or trophy to Lionel Messi just a few weeks ago, the Bayern Munich star got the better of his Argentine rival, as well as Mohamed Salah, this time around.
Lewandowski might not have been able to attend a star-studded ceremony in person, but he was nevertheless garlanded with FIFA’s top prize in the men’s game for the second year running.
The Best FIFA Awards voting process
Now, naturally, each award brings with it the question of how it was decided upon because fans understandably want to comprehend the format before directing their anger at certain results.
And to FIFA’s credit, their system for rewarding the top male and female player is one of the most interesting on the awards circuit with players, managers, journalists and fans all getting a say.
However, to avoid thousands of footballers having to cast a vote, the playing segment of the poll is reserved to national team captains and that inevitably means a certain super-famous pairing.
That’s right, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo‘s standing as Argentina and Portugal skippers mean that they have to publicly reveal their opinion on who they think the world’s best players are each year.
Who did Messi and Ronaldo vote for?
So, you’re all asking the same question here and you’ll be thankful to learn that we can give you the answer courtesy of FIFA’s official documentation on who the captions voted for.
With neither Ronaldo nor Messi voting the other, the two former winners of the FIFA prize didn’t get entangled with their own never-ending debate and you can be sure to check out their picks below:
2. N’Golo Kante
1. Robert Lewandowski
3. Karim Benzema
2. Kylian Mbappe
Ok, so it’s perhaps not surprising that Messi picked two Paris Saint-Germain teammates on his podium, but it certainly is eye-opening that he plumped for Benzema in the place of Lewandowski.
However, one can’t help feeling that it’s a little sad that the two sporting icons didn’t vote for each other, even though we’re well aware that Ronaldo and Messi harbour mutual respect regardless.
Either way, though, it’s fascinating to ascertain even the slightest and most trivial of insights into what arguably the two greatest male footballers think about the sport that we love the most.