Ronaldo won the most prestigious individual award in world football with 27.99 per cent of the total vote. Argentine Messi, hampered by injury problems at Barcelona late in the year, finished second in the poll with 24.72 per cent of the total vote while Frenchman Franck Ribery was third with 23.36 per cent.
Every national team coach, captain and a journalist from each FIFA nation was allowed to vote for their top three players of 2013 and as Ronaldo and Messi are captains of Portugal and Argentina respectively that means they both had a say on who should win the award.
However, no doubt aware that the two were great rivals for the prize, neither man put the other in his top three – or indeed did they vote for the other main contender Ribery.
Ronaldo instead gave his top vote (worth five points in the voting) to Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, his second vote (worth three) to current team-mate Gareth Bale and his third vote (worth one) to Mesut Ozil.
Messi, for his part, gave all three of his votes to current team-mates marking his ballot. 1. Andres Iniesta; 2. Xavi; 3. Neymar.
Ribery did not have a vote as he is not captain of the French national team but even his captain – Hugo Lloris – played the political game and left out both Messi and Ronaldo.
Portugal's coach Pablo Bento also left out both Messi and Ribery but Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella did at least put Ribery (two) and Messi (three) behind Ronaldo.