The 2021 honour went to Robert Lewandowski following votes from the captains and managers of international teams around the world, plus members of the media and fans.
Paris Saint-Germain striker Messi showed his loyalty to his new teammates and picked Neymar as his best player in the world for the past 12 months, with fellow club mate Kylian Mbappe second.
However, Messi went with a star of old club Barcelona’s rivals, Real Madrid, for his third-best player: Karim Benzema.
Ronaldo’s first-choice was eventual winner Lewandowski and the pair’s mutual respect was evident with the Manchester United striker the third pick from the Pole, despite having far from his best year in front of goal.
N’Golo Kante and Jorginho completed Ronaldo’s top three, on a good night for Chelsea at the awards ceremony.
Lewandowski went with the Champions League and Euro 2020 winner Jorginho, with Messi his second choice ahead of Ronaldo.
The Best Fifa Men’s Player final results:
- Robert Lewandowski – 48 points
- Lionel Messi – 44 points
- Mohamed Salah – 39 points
- Karim Benzema – 30 points
- N’Golo Kante – 24 points
- Jorginho – 24 points
- Cristiano Ronaldo – 23 points
- Kylian Mbappe – 16 points
- Kevin De Bruyne – 11 points
- Neymar – 10 points
- Erling Haaland – 7 points