The credibility of the FIFA Football Awards is being undermined by both the FIFPro World XI and the voting tactics of Cristiano Ronaldo and other players.
We’ve already been left aghast at the selection of a team of the season which inexplicably includes more Real Madrid players than it does Liverpool despite Los Blancos’ miserable campaign.
The selection of the XI, regrettably, appears to be a popularity contest.
And the reveal of the frontrunners’ votes following the ceremony has cast further doubt on the legitimacy of the honours.
Lionel Messi snubbed chief competitor Virgil van Dijk, while Ronaldo, a no-show at the event, more blatantly omitted both Messi and Van Dijk in favour of Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Kylian Mbappe.
FIFA have released the votes on the Best player of the year award:
Votes in order from 1st choice to 3rd:
Messi: Mané, Ronaldo, de Jong.
Ronaldo: de Ligt, de Jong, Mbappé.
VVD: Messi, Salah, Mané.
Cristiano forever taking no chances! 😂😂😂
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) September 23, 2019
Van Dijk won the most votes amongst the footballing media, arguably the most impartial body, but was outscored by Messi and Ronaldo among fans and coaches.
It seems to be more about big names than it is performances, and the voting system may need an overhaul if these prizes are to maintain, or indeed recover, prestige.