Ballon d'Or voting: Ronaldo picks Falcao, Buffon opts for Pirlo

The Portuguese selected the Monaco striker as his best player of 2013, as Fifa reveals the breakdown of votes among the national team captains

2013 Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed rival Lionel Messi by selecting Radamel Falcao as his candidate to collect the trophy, Fifa’s official voting procedure has revealed.

The Portuguese, who collected the title for the second time after previously prevailing in 2008, saw off competition from Franck Ribery and Messi to earn 27.99 per cent of the total vote.

In what will be seen as a political vote, Ronaldo, who is represented alongside Falcao by superagent Jorge Mendes, selected the Colombian attacker as most deserving of the accolade, with Gareth Bale and Mesut Ozil his choices in second and third.

There was similarly tactical voting from Messi, however, with the Argentine picking a trio of Barcelona team-mates as his top three in the form of Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Neymar respectively.
Of the other major nations, Brazil captain Thiago Silva voted for Messi, and England’s Steven Gerrard selected Ronaldo ahead of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. Hugo Lloris, the captain of France, chose countryman Ribery, while Germany’s Philipp Lahm also opted for his Bayern Munich colleague.
Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon took the choice of Juventus compatriot Andrea Pirlo and Spain and Real Madrid skipper Iker Casillas also stayed close to home by selecting Ronaldo.

Netherlands’ Robin van Persie proved loyal to international team-mate Arjen Robben, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in his role as Sweden captain, opted for Franck Ribery to receive the award.

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