Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar? Twitter ranks Ballon d'Or hopefuls

The Argentine is the landslide winner according to data from the social media giant, also picking up the Puskas award, while Pep Guardiola will be named coach of the year


Lionel Messi will be the landslide winner for the Ballon d'Or, according to data supplied by Twitter.

The Barcelona star, who is expected to pick up his fifth Ballon d'Or prize on Monday, ranked nearly twice as many mentions as his nearest rival Cristiano Ronaldo, and nearly three times as many as Neymar.

Messi was mentioned in 58 million tweets during the year, with Ronaldo's tab lighting up a mere 31 million times and relative newcomer Neymar coming in just behind with 24 million mentions.

Messi is also expected to win the Puskas award for his strike against Athletic Bilbao, edging out Alessandro Florenzi's for Roma against Barcelona and Wendell Lira's strike for Goianesia in the clash with Atletico-GO.

Pep Guardiola could win his second Coach of the Year award, the first manager to do so, judging by Twitter popularity, beating Luis Enrique (four million mentions) and Jorge Sampaoli (one million mentions).

Carli Lloyd is the runaway leader in the Women's World Player of the Year category with 666,000 tweets, compared to Aya Miyama's 110,000 and 69,000 for Celia Sasic. Norio Sasaki is the favourite for coach.