Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
WARRIORS’ coach Callisto Pasuwa and veteran radio soccer commentator and television personality Charles Mabika both voted for Barcelona and Argentina playmaker Lionel Messi for the Ballon D’or, while skipper Danny Phiri settled for Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Phiri had Messi and Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez as his second and third choices respectively, while Pasuwa chose Ronaldo and Neymar – the same combination chosen by Mabika.
Messi scooped an unprecedented fifth Ballon D’or award, wrestling it from his fierce Real Madrid rival Ronaldo, who had won it for two consecutive years.
According to the Fifa website, Pasuwa and Mabika were again spot on in their choice for the Coach of the Year won by Barcelona’s Luis Enrique. Phiri chose outgoing Bayern Munich gaffer Pep Guardiola and had Guardiola’s successor at Bayern Munich Carlo Ancelotti and Juventus’ Allegri Massimiliano as his second and third choices respectively.
Pasuwa put Massimiliano and Chile national team coach Jorge Sampaoli as his second and third choices, while Mabika put Sampaoli as his second choice and Massimiliano in third.
Interestingly, both Messi and Ronaldo did not vote for each other or for themselves, rather choosing to vote for their teammates.
Ronaldo settled for Karim Benzema, James Rodriquez and Gareth Bale, while Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta were Messi’s choices.
Messi polled 41.33 percent of the total votes, way ahead of Ronaldo, who managed 27.76 percent of the votes, while Brazil skipper Neymar received 7.86 percent.
Africa’s only representative in the prestigious list, Cote D’Ivoire’s Yaya Toure was 12th with 0.86 percent of the total votes cast.
In the women’s section, the Mighty Warriors’ Felistas Muzongodi voted for Migan Rapino, Célia Šašic and Nadine Angerer, but it was the United States of America’s Carli Lloyd, who got the gong.