Pitchside Europe

Eurosport’s experts pick their own Ballon d’Or winner

Franck Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

With the whole of Europe going Ballon d'Or crazy on Monday, we decided to run our own parallel poll of Eurosport's football journalists across the continent.

Just like the real thing, we allowed each country just one vote - but despite the relatively small sample size, the result mirrored the expected results of the official award.

Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo took home the prize, just ahead of Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery, with Lionel Messi trailing in a distant third.

Ronaldo and Ribery both collected four 1st place votes - worth five points each - but none of the voters put the Portuguese forward lower than second.

Ribery, by contrast, was ranked only third best by two of the voters - and the resulting loss of votes meant that he lost out by just a few points.

Results

1. Cristiano Ronaldo, 35 points (4x 1st place, 5x 2nd place)

2. Franck Ribery, 31 points (4x 1st place, 3x 3rd place, 2x 3rd place)

3. Lionel Messi, 15 points (1x 1st place, 1x 2nd place, 7x 3rd place)

How Eurosport's experts voted - and why

UK (Alex Chick)

1st - Ronaldo

2nd - Ribery

3rd - Messi

"Ronaldo’s stunning hat-trick against Sweden sparked a sea change in opinion, capping a year of outrageous goalscoring feats. Or maybe it was the underpants. Either way, he will be a worthy winner."

Spain (Jorge Ordas)

1st - Ronaldo

2nd - Messi

3rd - Ribery

"Despite the fact that he didn’t win any trophies with Real Madrid, Ronaldo has been the best leader, he scored a lot of goals and he helped Portugal reach the World Cup. Messi would have been the winner if he had played the hardest part of the season. He was injured and he couldn’t help Barca against Bayern Munich. In a normal season, nobody is better than him, but 2013 was not a normal season."

Italy (Mattia Fontana)

1st - Ribery

2nd - Ronaldo

3rd - Messi

"Ribery has won everything he could win in 2013. A good reason, no?"

France (Laurent Vergne)

1st - Ribery

2nd - Ronaldo

3rd - Messi

"Ribery was the best player for the best team of 2013: France. Er, sorry, Bayern. He was consistent from January to December. It wasn't Messi's best year to say the least, and Ronaldo didn't even won the Copa del Rey! He was great, for sure. But he would probably be the first Ballon d'Or without a single title in the last 12 months."

Poland (Bartosz Rainka)

1st - Ronaldo

2nd - Ribery

3rd - Messi

"Ronaldo certainly deserves to win the Ballon d’Or award. He could bring his unique quality to any team in the world. It is so obvious when you compare the results of the Portuguese national team before his era and nowadays. At the moment no one can compete with him."

Russia (Igor Zelenitsyn)

1st - Messi

2nd - Ronaldo

3rd - Ribery

"Come on, it's FIFA. It's impossible to imagine they'll give the prize to anyone but Messi."

Germany (Tobias Hlusiak)

1st - Ribery

2nd - Ronaldo

3rd - Messi

"Franck led his team to five trophies in 2013. It’s obvious that he deserves the Ballon, too."

Arabia (Hussam Barakat)

1st - Ronaldo

2nd - Ribery

3rd - Messi

"It’s a personal prize, and the best individual is CR7. It’s not about the team success or the role of the star player in that team, so it’s CR7, then it’s Ribery, and Messi is third because of his several injures."

Turkey (Cem Koparan)

1st - Ribery

2nd - Ronaldo

3rd - Messi