Since we all know that the Ballon d'Or is in essence a popularity contest, I'm setting out to find this year's most unpopulist and dark horse ballot in the entire process. If this seems familiar it's because I did this last year, when Bahrain's Anthony Hudson won with his vote of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Andrea Pirlo, and Mesut Oezil.
As a refresher, here are the criteria:
- The Ballot cannot have contained a vote for one of the finalists. No Ronaldo, no Messi, and no Neuer
- I'm adding a criteria this year in that Arjen Robben is also up for the UEFA Player of the Year award in addition to Ronaldo and Neuer, so all votes including Arjen Robben are stuck from the record as well
- No coach or team captain can vote for one of their club or international teammates in any of the positions