On Sunday night, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi became the recipient of the FIFA Men’s player of the year award for the record-breaking sixth time in his career.
The Argentine scored 54 goals and grabbed 20 assists in 58 games for club and country throughout the year and pipped Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk and old-rival Cristiano Ronaldo to the prize, with the duo finishing second and third respectively.
The winner of the award is chosen by managers and captains from national teams around the country as well as media representatives and an online vote.
Given the nature of the vote there are a few interesting selections in the respective top threes of the managers and captains of the national teams.
Ireland boss Mick McCarthy voted Van Dijk number one, like many others, but sprung a couple of surprises in his second and third choices.
He selected current Barcelona and former Ajax midfielder Frenkie De Jong as runner up while Tottenham striker Harry Kane was third – one of only 28 representatives to have the England captain in their top three, out of 500.
Captain Seamus Coleman’s selections ended up mirroring the winners on the night as he picked Messi first, Van Dijk second and Ronaldo third.
Jurgen Klopp was also a winner as he won the coach’s equivalent of the award, with McCarthy selecting him first, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola second Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino third.
Coleman went for Guardiola first and Klopp second but sprung a surprise with his third choice of Djamel Belmadi, the Algerian coach who led his side to African Cup of Nations victory this year.
American star Megan Rapinoe was voted the winner of the women’s award although although Irish captain Katie McCabe didn’t include her in her top three of Miedema Vivianne, Lavelle Rose and Julie Ertz.
Tom O’Connor, who was chosen as the coaching representative for Ireland had Rapinoe first, Henry Amandine second and Lavelle Rose third.