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FIFA Awarded Messi and Completely Discredited the Prize. Even Leo Didn't Expect It!

In London, the solemn event of the FIFA, dedicated to awarding the best representatives of the "number one sport" for 2023, ended. After announcing the winner in the main category, a grand scandal erupted: despite being one of the greatest (if not the greatest) in history, Argentine national team captain Lionel Messi did not deserve the individual award. But he still received it.

The absurdity goes further as Leo didn't even attend The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London. As we reported earlier, Messi understood that he wouldn't win the award, so he decided to skip the flight to the United Kingdom... How wrong he was.

Let's be straightforward: most of Messi's recent individual awards raised many questions. In 2021, the Argentine received the Ballon d'Or for winning the Copa America — a burst of activity amid an unsuccessful year. Robert Lewandowski, the Polish striker who performed exceptionally well in both 2020 and 2021, missed out on the award first due to the coronavirus pandemic and then because of the historical success of the Argentine national team in the continental championship.

Then came the triumphant 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where Messi became the champion and the tournament's best player. Impressive, undoubtedly! But for the rest of the year, Messi's performance could have been better: PSG performed poorly in the Champions League, and Leo often disappeared on the field rather than leading and taking the game forward for Parisians. Unsurprisingly, FIFA's award and his eighth Golden Ball, which went to the forward, generated skepticism among many fans and experts.

And now, again... According to FIFA, Messi was recognized as the best footballer of the year for the second consecutive time. For what? Another failure in the Champions League with PSG or the gold of the Ligue 1? For the "important" Leagues Cup, which the 36-year-old Argentine won after moving to David Beckham's Inter Miami in the United States?
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Even the 44th trophy in his career and the title of the most decorated footballer in the world cannot compare to what Norwegian striker Erling Haaland achieved last year with Manchester City.

Let's highlight the key points:

  • English champion (top scorer of the tournament)
  • FA Cup winner
  • UEFA Champions League winner (top scorer of the tournament)
  • UEFA Super Cup holder and winner of the Club World Cup
  • Player of the Season in Europe according to the UEFA
  • Premier League's Best Player in the 2022/23 season
  • England's all-time top scorer in a season (he scored 36 goals!)
  • Winner of the Golden Boots in the Premier League and UEFA.

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Frenchman Kylian Mbappe, the third nominee for The Best award, is not even considered. Messi's former PSG teammate fades compared to the 23-year-old Norwegian: who would be impressed by winning Ligue 1, the French Super Cup, and the title of the top scorer in the French league for the fifth consecutive time?

However, how could such injustice occur? Messi and Haaland received the same number of points (48 each). Still, the deciding factor was the higher number of first-place votes Messi received in the survey of national team captains (677 versus 557). Mbappe finished third with 35 points.

Among the captains who voted for Leo were Mbappe, Lewandowski, Croatian Luka Modric, Egyptian Mohamed Salah, Englishman Harry Kane, Dutchman Virgil van Dijk, Belgian Romelu Lukaku, and Italian Gianluigi Donnarumma... FIFA will have to seriously reconsider the voting system next year. This time, the results shocked even fans who had seen a lot.

Meanwhile, fans are attacking the official social media accounts of the ceremony organizers:

"What is FIFA doing with football..."
"Is this some kind of joke?!"
"Your award has long lost all authority."
"You are just maFIFA" (an analogy with "mafia").
"Stop complaining! Understand that all these awards are rigged."
"Pure robbery."
"Do you really prioritize the game in the USA over victories in the Premier League and the Champions League?"
"Do you even watch football?!"
"Corruption in FIFA."
"I am a big Messi fan, but this is a disgrace."

Other important categories of The Best awards:

  • Best Coach: Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
  • Best Goalkeeper: Ederson (Brazil / Manchester City)
  • 2023 All-Star Team: Thibaut Courtois (Belgium / Real Madrid), John Stones (England / Manchester City), Kyle Walker (England / Manchester City), Ruben Dias (Portugal / Manchester City), Bernardo Silva (Portugal / Manchester City), Jude Bellingham (England / Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium / Manchester City), Erling Haaland (Norway / Manchester City), Kylian Mbappe (France / PSG), Lionel Messi (Argentina / Inter Miami), Vinicius Junior (Brazil / Real Madrid) Ferenc Puskas Award (most beautiful goal): Guilherme Madruga (Brazil / Cuiaba)

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  • Best Women's Player of the Year: Aitana Bonmati (Spain / Barcelona)
  • Best Women's Coach: Sarina Wiegman (England national team).

Published by Patrick Jane