Argentine forward Lionel Messi was voted FIFA’s Best Player at The Best ceremony held in Paris on Monday night. The coronation of the former Barcelona player is no surprise considering he lifted the FIFA World Cup last year with Argentina, winning the tournament’s Golden Ball in the process. His PSG teammate Kylian Mbappé is a close runner-up in the standings. 2022 Ballon d’Or and Champions League winner Karim Benzema is third. National teams’ skippers and managers were the voters for The Best and the detailed votes have been released, with some surprises among them.
For instance, France’s skipper Hugo Lloris has voted for Morocco’s manager Walid Regragui as his best coach of the year, two ranks above Les Bleus‘ boss Didier Deschamps with Argentina’s World Cup winning coach Lionel Scaloni in second. Meanwhile, when voting for the best goalkeeper of the year, Deschamps gave his backing to Moroccan Yassine Bounou, Belgian Thibaut Courtois and Brazilian Alisson Becker, with Hugo Lloris not in the running. Furthermore, Messi voted for Neymar, despite an underwhelming World Cup from the Brazilian, over World Cup Golden Boot winner Mbappé.
When it comes to surprising votes, newly-named Spain boss Luis de la Fuente has certainly raised a few eyebrows when he chose Argentine Manchester City substitute Julián Alvarez as his best player of the year, followed closely by England midfielder Jude Bellingham and Croatian skipper Luka Modrić. Meanwhile, Austria skipper David Alaba has caused a bit of a stir in Spain after picking Lionel Messi ahead of Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema. The former Bayern man explained that the World Cup has tilted the balance in his vote, which is curious given Alaba has voted for Carlo Ancelotti over Scaloni when voting for the best coach of the year.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval