Revealing who voted on behalf of Cristiano Ronaldo at the FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year award and his pick

Lionel Messi was named as the FIFA Best Men’s Player of 2022 in a glitzy ceremony in Paris but his long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo did not lodge a vote for the first time in six years

Who came first in football: Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? | Goal.com

Cristiano Ronaldo did not cast a vote for the FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year award as Lionel Messi claimed the trophy once more.

The Argentine superstar was named as the best player in the world during a glittering ceremony in Paris on Monday evening after scooping the most votes from his peers. It is the second time in his career that he has claimed the award and stopped Polish forward Robert Lewandowski from taking the trophy home for the third year in succession.

In the aftermath of the ceremony, the voting totals were announced with an intriguing development having been confirmed by FIFA. All national team captains got the chance to vote and that would usually have been Ronaldo – the veteran forward leading his nation on 136 occasions throughout his lengthy career.

He did not take responsibility this time around though with FIFA confirming that former Real Madrid defender Pepe instead voted on behalf of the Portuguese national side. He selected Messi’s PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe as his pick, whilst former colleagues Luka Modric and Karim Benzema claimed second and third place respectively.

Mystery as Cristiano Ronaldo DOESN'T vote in Fifa Best award... but Portugal captain's pal Pepe still snubs Messi | The Sun

Interestingly, new Portugal boss Roberto Martinez gave his votes to Ronaldo’s rival Messi, whilst Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne and PSG forward Mbappe followed. The Argentine in the meantime voted for his PSG colleagues Neymar and Mbappe, whilst his third choice was Real Madrid striker Benzema.

Elsewhere, Ronaldo – the winner of the first two FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year awards – was not eligible to receive any votes of his own this time around after not receiving a nomination. The 38-year-old has nevertheless enjoyed an electric start to life with Saudi outfit Al-Nassr with eight goals in his first six competitive appearances for his new club after his exit from Manchester United.

Despite now playing in different leagues, both Messi and Ronaldo have already faced off on the pitch this season. Shortly after arriving in Saudi Arabia, the Portuguese was selected in an all-star XI to take on PSG in a friendly.

The French giants ran out 5-4 winners in what was an exhilarating tie. Ronaldo twice managed to get on the scoresheet whilst Messi also found the net in a game that also saw Brazilian defender Marquinhos sent off.

433 on Twitter: "The official FIFPro World XI is out! 🤩 https://t.co/i0GmL4k3EK" / Twitter

Speaking after claiming the latest award, Messi responded with an emotional speech. Speaking alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino, he said: “Wow, it’s amazing. It’s been a tremendous year and it’s an honour for me to be here tonight and win this award.

“Without my team-mates I wouldn’t be here. I achieved the dream I had been hoping for for so long. Very few people can achieve that and I have been lucky to do so.”

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