Martin O'Neill leaves Ronaldo and Messi out of his Top 3 in his eclectic FIFA Awards picks

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman included the duo

BY Raf Diallo 19:53 Monday 9 January 2017, 19:53 9 Jan 2017

Manager Martin O'Neill ©INPHO/Gary Carr

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has gone for an eclectic Top 3 in his picks for the FIFA Football Awards as he left out Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

International managers and captains are eligible to vote in the FIFA Awards.

For 2016, Ronaldo has been deemed the overall winner as expected, beating Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to the prize which the Portugal captain and Real Madrid star adds to his Ballon d'Or.

But no members of that trio made it onto O'Neill's Top 3 for the best men's player of 2016. 

Instead, the Ireland boss went for Ronaldo's Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale as his top pick. 

The Wales star shone for his country at Euro 2016 en route to a fairytale semi final but due to injury the winger is unlikely to face Ireland in the 2018 World Cup qualifier in Dublin this March.

Also in O'Neill's Top 3 were N'Golo Kante of Leicester and France in third, as well as Italy and Juventus' legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in second.

As Ireland captain, Everton full back Seamus Coleman also cast his vote and in his selection, Ronaldo and Messi both made it in first and second respectively.

He gave third in the world to Messi's Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill's Top 3 was more conventional than the aforementioned O'Neill with Ronaldo, Messi and Griezmann selected in that order.

His captain Steven Davis went for those three players expect with Messi ahead of Ronaldo.

England captain Wayne Rooney left Messi out of his Top 3 with his former Manchester United team-mate Ronaldo at No 1 ahead of Suarez and his England colleague Jamie Vardy.

England manager Gareth Southgate also had Ronaldo at No 1 ahead of Griezmann. But in third he picked Kante.

As Argentina and Portugal captains respectively, Messi and Ronaldo also vote and they continued their tradition of never casting a vote for each other.

Messi went for Barcelona team-mates Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta.

Like O'Neill, Ronaldo went for Bale as his No 1 pick, ahead of two more Real Madrid team-mates in Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos in second and third respectively.

Find out how both international managers and captains voted in this year's FIFA Awards right here.


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