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Some bad, bad voting in this FIFA player of the year process

Jan 7, 2013, 5:45 PM EDT

Ballon d'Or trophy

Count me “all in” for a democratic process. I mean, who doesn’t like democracy?

And variety in opinion is the spice of life, eh?

But c’mon! Are some of these people serious with their voting in the FIFA player of the year awards? Because we made need a re-think on this process if it’s going to be like this.

If you don’t think Leo Messi is the best player in the world, no problem! Maybe you like Cristiano Ronaldo. Or maybe you are an Andres Iniesta man. Heck, you could even make a case for Radamel Falcao or Robin van Persie or even a couple of others, guys who ware not even doggone finalists.

But Mario freakin’ Balotelli? Who could turn in that vote with a straight face?

At least three, apparently. He was on three of the captains’ votes, including the ballot belonging to Austria’s Christian Fuchs. Managers, captains and one journalist from each member association had a vote.

(MORE: Leo Messi win an unprecedented fourth Player of the Year award)

Some other instances of voting that checked the box under “interesting” or “irresponsible” or “just plain wrong.”

  • The very worst of the voting worst probably belongs to Brazilian scoring ace Marta, herself a five-time Women’s Player of the Year winner. Considering that the three finalists this year were herself, plus Americans Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach, she would have a hard time explaining how her vote included neither of the other two finalists. Seriously, girl?
  • National team captains and national team managers get votes. U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra’s ballot had Messi, Ronaldo and Radamel Falcao as Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Nice touch, actually, to select Falcao, a fellow Spanish league man.  (Although Iniesta plays in La Liga, too.) As we told you earlier, Klinsmann’s went with Messi, Andrea Pirlo and  Ronaldo, in that order.
  • Journalist Rob Harris helped point out on Twitter than Ashley Williams voted van Persie in the No. 3 spot, “despite nearly killing him.”  All part of the game, I suppose.
  •  Jaba Kankava, captain of Georgia, where they are apparently a little behind on the news, voted Wayne Rooney at top spot.
  • The ballot for Germany manager Joachim Low was Mesut Özil, Manuel Neuer and Xavi. (Those first two were his own players, at least.)
  • All the voting, in all its flawed glory, is here in dizzying spreadsheet form.
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