Lionel Messi
Messi triumphed in Zurich, but who voted for Gareth Bale as the best player on the planet? Getty

Lionel Messi was honoured with his fifth Ballon d'Or in Zurich on Monday 11 January, fending off the challenge of long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona teammate Neymar.

But let's face it, you could have guessed the winner – and the final three-man shortlist – a while ago. After the lavish ceremony is finished, the real entertainment comes in sifting through the lists of who managers and captains from across the world voted for.

Who says there is bias in these awards? Despite remaining firmly in the shadow of the three on the final shortlist, Gareth Bale was proudly selected as the best player on the planet by Wales head coach Chris Coleman, with national team captain Ashley Williams also opting for his fellow countryman. All in all, the former Tottenham Hotspur star picked up just 0.65% of the total vote.

Keeping with that trend, Germany coach Joachim Low kept his vote firmly in house with Manuel Neuer winning, ahead of Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos.

While there was plenty of favouritism, brotherly love was lacking at last night's gala. Florentin Pogba, captain of the Guinea national team and brother of Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba named selected Messi, Ronaldo and Neuer as his top three, leaving out his sibling altogether.

That was a breath of fresh air given some of the other shouts made. Yaya Toure scooping 18 votes – 14 from African nations – seemed a bit generous given the circumstances.

Javier Mascherano, who England boss Ropy Hodgson confidently selected as his best player last year, remains bewilderingly popular on these lists. Guatemala captain Ruiz Carlos Humberto and Mauritania captain N'Diaye Oumar both selected him as their best player on the planet this time around. Hodgson went for a more conservative approach, selecting Ronaldo ahead of Messi, but named Eden Hazard in third place. This is the same Eden Hazard who has failed to score a goal this season.

As per tradition, both Messi and Ronaldo refused to name each other in their respective lists. Ronaldo named Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema as the best player on the planet in 2015, ahead of James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale.

Interestingly, Messi named Luis Suarez as his first choice ahead of second placed Neymar, with Andreas Iniesta completing an all-Barcelona line up.

Luis Enrique walked away with the Coach of the Year award, seeing off the challenge of Pep Guardiola and Jorge Sampaoli, the man who led Chile to Copa America success last summer. All quite predictable, really. To spice things up, Wayne Rooney selected Jose Mourinho, a candidate to replace Louis van Gaal as Manchester United manager should the Dutchman depart, as his best manager in 2015.

You can view the full lists for the Ballon d'Or award here and the Head Coach of the Year award here.