This year's edition of the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala saw Lionel Messi win the award for the fifth time. But there were plenty of interesting things that we did not see or hear about. Let’s take a peek:
- Andrés Iniesta, who has never missed a Ballon d'Or Gala, didn’t make the podium this year, but was actually second in 2010, behind Messi.
- Since FIFA has given the Ballon d'Or, the 41.3% of the votes that Messi received in 2015 are the third highest. The two highest were also his — 47.8% in 2011 and 41.6% in 2012.
- The only three captains who did not vote were goalkeepers — Iker Casillas (Spain), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) and Claudio Bravo (Chile). In addition, the football federations of Indonesia and Kuwait were suspended by FIFA and could not vote.
- Luis Enrique became the second FC Barcelona head coach to win the award for World Coach of the Year, after Pep Guardiola, receiving 31% of the votes, ahead of Guardiola (22.9%) and Jorge Sampaoli (9.4%).
- Wendell Lira, the curious winner Puskás, became the first player in the six years the award has been given to win it for a goal that was not scored in a top-flight competition. Lira, who played for Goianésia in Brazil’s Serie D, the fourth division, scored the goal in the Goiano state Championship.
- Every year since 2007, the top scorer in the Champions League ended up winning the Ballon d'Or. Kaká did both that year with Milan. This year, coincidentally, the three finalists for the Ballon d'Or were tied for top scorer in the competition.
- La Liga has had more of its players win the Ballon d’Or than any other European league. No fewer than ten have come from clubs in the Spanish championship.
- FC Barcelona’s spectacular five-title run in 2015 was well represented in the Ballon d’Or ranking, with four players in the top ten: Messi, Neymar, Suárez and Iniesta.