As occurred in FIFA's The Best, a detailed analysis of the votes for the Ballon d'Or throws up some surprising votes. The prize was won by Luka Modric after a vote which saw 176 journalists give six points to their first choice player, four to their second, three to their third, two to their fourth and one to their fifth option.
For example, France Football's correspondent in Spain, Alfredo Relaño (of Diario AS) voted for Griezmann, Mbappe, Modric, Ronaldo and Messi, in that order.
In Argentine, Messi was not the first choice, either. The journalist Enrique Wolff (ESPN Radio) went for Griezmann, Varane, Messi, Modric and Cristiano.
In France, (in this case, the home of France Football, who give the Ballon d'Or) Pascal Ferre chose three players from World Cup winners Les Bleus. His top five was made up of: Mbappe, Modric, Griezmann, Cristiano and Varane. There was no room for Barça's Messi.
There were no votes for Messi in Brazil. The journalist Cléber Machado (TV Globo) gave six points to Modric, followed by Cristiano, Griezmann, De Bruyne and Salah.
In Serbia, a country with an intense rivalry with Croatia, they still voted Real Madrid's Modric first, with Griezmann, Hazard, Salah and Neymar following.
Obviously, the top four finalists (Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Griezmann and Mbappe) got the majority of votes, although some other votes caught the attention: for the correspondent in Luxembourg, the best player in 2018 was Raphael Varane (the only player to win the Champions League and the World Cup).
Meanwhile, in Somalia, Luis Suarez took top spot; in Kyrgyzstan, Thibaut Courtois (chosen the best goalkeeper at the World Cup); and for the correspondent in the Central African Republic, Karim Benzema was worth six points.