How Africa voted in FIFA Best Player award
Cristiano Ronaldo continued his remarkable trophy haul with a second consecutive FIFA Best Player award on Monday evening — and he had a fair bit of help from Africans in doing so.
The award is voted for by the captain, coach and journalist of each FIFA member nation, with five points given to the first choice, three to second and one for third.
For the most part, the African coaches and captains got it right, but there were some for who Ronaldo did not even make the top three.
Algeria’s coach Lucas Alvarez was one such individual, instead going with Neymar, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos. However, the Desert Foxes’ captain, Raïs M’Bolhi, did go for Ronaldo, followed by Gianluigi Buffon and Messi.
Burkina Faso skipper Charles Kabore was another for whom the Real Madrid superstar did not make the cut, instead opting for Messi, Marcelo and Neymar. Burkinabe coach Paulo Duarte, unsurprisingly, opted for his compatriot, followed by Messi and Neymar.
Gernot Rohr has turned Nigeria’s fortunes around since he took over, but he’s clearly no big fan of Ronaldo, voting for Messi, Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann and Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. John Mikel Obi had Ronaldo as his second choice, instead opting for Messi.
Belgian coach Hugo Broos, who led Cameroon to the Africa Cup of Nations title earlier this year, picked Ronaldo as his winner, while Indomitable Lions captain Benjamin Moukandjo went for Messi.
It was a reverse for World Cup-bound Egypt, where coach Hector Cuper opted for compatriot Messi and veteran captain, 44-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, chose Ronaldo.
Gabon captain Bruno Ecuele Manga, while picking Ronaldo above Messi, at least had teammate and talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at three, which is more than one could say for coach Jose Antonio Camacho, who omitted the Borussia Dortmund man altogether and chose Ronaldo as his first-choice.
Morocco coach Herve Renard also went for Ronaldo over Messi, while captain Mehdi Elmoutaki had Buffon, Paulo Dybala and Ronaldo as his 1-2-3, with no space for Messi.
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter was another who didn’t include Ronaldo in his top three, instead opting for Messi, Eden Hazard and Andres Iniesta. Bafana Bafana captain differed in opinion — he had Ronaldo, Ramos and Hazard.
The coaches and captains of Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe all picked Ronaldo as their winner, while Ghana and Senegal did not vote.