Wayne Rooney's picks for Coach of the Year at the FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony were for the three managers most strongly linked with replacing Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, while he also selected Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller above former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo in the player vote.
The England and United captain made Jose Mourinho his first selection, followed by Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola and Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli.
The award was won by Luis Enrique but Rooney did not deem the Spaniard worthy of a vote, despite the fact he guided Barcelona to the treble last season.
Wayne Rooney's choices for Ballon d'Or coach of the year were for the men linked to replacing Louis van Gaal
And it was another Barcelona hero who took the player award, as Messi beat Ronaldo to win his fifth Ballon d'Or with almost 14 per cent more votes.
But Rooney's choices make interesting reading.
Mourinho has been continuously linked with the managerial job at United, with his departure from Chelsea coinciding with a slide in form at Old Trafford under the Dutchman Van Gaal's risk-averse style of play.
While the Portuguese is the obvious front-runner for any vacancy which could emerge from a Van Gaal departure, Guardiola would also be considered after announcing he is leaving Bayern at the end of the season.
Sampaoli, meanwhile, is perhaps an alternative name but led Chile to the Copa America title as host nation in 2015.
Rooney also favoured Messi over his former United team-mate Ronaldo - placing the Portugal man in third.
Messi was first on Rooney's voting slip, Germany and Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller second and Ronaldo third, while Roy Hodgson once again went for an unorthodox option in his choices.
The England manager selected Chelsea's Eden Hazard as the third best in the world and also ranked Cristiano Ronaldo above the winner, Lionel Messi.
Hazard spearheaded Chelsea's Premier League title triumph last season but has not replicated anything near to similar form this season at Stamford Bridge.
Cristiano Ronaldo picked former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti as his top selection in the vote
Real Madrid No 7 and Ronaldo gives the thumbs up with a beaming smile after being interviewed on stage
Lionel Messi topped the voting for the Ballon d'Or with an emphatic 41.33 per cent of the vote on Monday
Last year, Hodgson was derided for making Javier Mascherano his top pick, followed by Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer.
Captains and managers of each national side vote in the Ballon d'Or, with first picks taking five points, second picks having three and third picks winning one.
Messi topped the overall voting with 41.33 per cent of the vote, with Ronaldo second on 27.76 and Neymar third, having amassed 7.86 per cent.
Ronaldo's top pick as manager was Carlo Ancelotti, who he was disappointed to see leave Real Madrid at the end of last season. Mourinho was second and Guardiola third.
His player choices were all for his Madrid team-mates, plumping for Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale.
Messi's coaching selections placed Barcelona boss Enrique in first, followed by Sampaoli and fellow Argentina countryman and Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone.
In the player vote, he went for Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta. Similarly to Ronaldo, he only voted for his club team-mates.
A pick of the voting for the Ballon d'Or award for best player from international captains across the world
England manager Roy Hodgson picked Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard as his top three respectively
Shortlisted duo Neymar (centre) and Messi (right) voted for each other and Luis Suarez in their player picks
Barcelona forward and Brazil captain Neymar - with bow tie and bowler hat - was third for the main award
Messi is congratulated by Barcelona team-mate Neymar after receiving 41.33 per cent of the votes
Messi was the top pick for fellow Ballon d'Or shortlisted nominee Neymar. The Brazil captain placed Suarez and Ivan Rakitic in second and third.
Elsewhere, Wales manager Chris Coleman unsurprisingly went for Bale as the best player, but Ronaldo and Hazard occupied second and third with no place for Messi.