Super Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa, and Coach Gernot Rohr did not vote for Cristiano Ronaldo respective as Argentina and Barcelona star, Lionel Messi emerged winner of the FIFA Best Player of the Year for the sixth time on Monday night in Milan, Italy.
Musa was spot on in picking the Barcelona star as his first choice to win the award for the sixth time. Super Eagles coach, Rohr, picked French World Cup 2018 hero Kylian Mbappe as his first choice.
Messi won the 2019 FIFA Best Award with 46 points, eight points ahead of Virgil van Dijk with Ronaldo third on 36 points.
Many football pundits tipped the towering Liverpool defender van Dijk to win after he had earlier won the UEFA top prize weeks ago. Others went for Ronaldo who did well for both club and country Portugal.
But FIFA’s voting process that enables national team captains and coaches as well as top football writers all over the world to decide the winner favoured Messi for a record six time.
A forensic auditing of the voting pattern obtained by THISDAY from FIFA website moments after the event in Italy showed that Super Eagles captain, Musa voted Messi as number one followed by Ronaldo before his fellow African star, Mohamed Salah.
Rohr on the other hand, voted Mbappe, van Dijk and Eden Hazard in that order.
The trend of voting by Nigerians had always favoured the Argentine over his arch-rival Ronaldo going by previous votes by late Amodu Shaibu and Stephen Keshi, Joseph Yobo, Vincent Enyeama and John Mikel Obi.
Interestingly, from the analysis of the global voting result, Messi as Argentina captain voted for Ronaldo as his second in a choice of three players. His number one choice was Senegal’s Sadio Mane while the third was Frenkie De Jong.
Ronaldo who is also captain of Portugal did not vote for Messi. Instead, he opted for Matthijs De ligt, De Jong and French player, Kylian Mbappe.
It is suspected that Ronaldo did not vote for anyone who could be a threat to his possible emergence as winner.
Van Dijk as captain of Holland voted Messi as number one, his fellow Liverpool stars, Salah and Sadio Mane in that order.
Ronaldo who did not turn up for the event in Milan, waxed philosophical on his Instagram account shortly after Messi emerged winner.
“Patience and persistence are two characteristics that differentiate the professional from the amateur.
“Everything that is big today has started small. You can’t do everything but do everything you can to make your dreams come true. And keep in mind that after night always comes dawn,” wrote the ex-Real Madrid man.