Earlier tonight France Football announced the 2016 winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.
With the 30 man shortlist named back in October and with a split from FIFA this year following that arrangement for the past six years, the French magazine had selected the following players.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City & Argentina)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund & Gabon)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid & Wales)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus & Argentina)
Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid & Uruguay)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid & France)
Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/Juventus & Argentina)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United & Sweden)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona & Spain)
Koke (Atletico Madrid & Spain)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid & Germany)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munchen & Poland)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur & France)
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City & Algeria)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid & Croatia)
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munchen & Germany)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munchen & Germany)
Neymar (Barcelona & Brazil)
Dimitri Payet (West Ham & France)
Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Paul Pogba (Juventus/Manchester United & France)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid & Spain)
Rui Patricio (Sporting CP & Portugal)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona & Uruguay)
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City & England)
Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munchen & Chile)
At 4.30 BST earlier this evening the results of the 173 journalist vote began to be released, and the countdown was on from joint 17th this year to No 1 and this years winner.
I say ‘was on’ because as we got to the final five and with the show overrunning, at 7.05pm Cristiano Ronaldo was named as the big winner on the day.
Some would say FIFA will be pleased to not be involved given their issues, but the BBC pointed to maybe an ill timed tweet on timer given the overrun.
But as I sit here typing we still don’t know who finished 5th to 2nd.
Erm well done Cristiano Ronaldo!
Et le Ballon d’or France Football 2016 est attribué à…
? L’ÉQUIPE (@lequipe) 12 December 2016
Well that was exciting….shall we invent our own runner up? I’ve left space – use crayon.
1st – Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal).
6th – Gareth Bale (Real Madrid/Wales).
7th – Rihad Mahrez (Leicester City/Algeria).
8th – Jamie Vardy (Leicester City/England).
9th – Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy) & Pepe (Real Madrid/Portugal).
11th – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund/Gabon).
12th – Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon/Portugal).
13th – Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United/Sweden).
14th – Paul Pogba (Juventus/Manchester United/France) & Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich/Chile). (four points)
16th – Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Germany). (three points)
17th – Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/Germany) & Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia) & Dimitri Payet (West Ham/France). (one point)
To clarify, it is a 30 man shortlist and 30 people feature as can be seen above. However Kroos, Modric and Payet received one voting point each, hence their joint 17th position.
Eleven players failed to receive a single vote at this stage and they would be obvious if anybody actually knew the full finishing spots.
Don’t suppose it matters now – not a great year back in full control of their own award really but oh well.
Congratulations to all nominated – even if we don’t know where they all finished – it’s taking part that counts I believe.