‘The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year… Lionel Messi!’
There was a sense of familiarity when those words came out of FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s mouth at FIFA’s ceremony in Milan on Monday evening.
It was the sixth time in his career that Messi has been voted the world’s best - and first since its rebranding as ‘The Best’ in 2016.
The Argentinian beat Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo to the award, collecting 46 points.
Van Dijk received 38 points and Ronaldo had 36.
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The results came as a result of extensive voting from national team captains, coaches and a select group of journalists from those countries.
And, as always, it’s fascinating to see just who voted for who.
Who did Messi and Ronaldo vote for?
‘Tactical voting’ has been commonplace in previous years, with players eager to support their teammates and refusing to help their rivals.
Messi and Ronaldo have both been guilty of it in the past but both were more honest this time around.
Indeed, Messi even gave a vote to Ronaldo.
The Portuguese forward didn’t return the favour though.
1. Sadio Mane
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Frenkie de Jong
1. Matthijs de Ligt
2. Frenkie de Jong
3. Kylian Mbappe
What’s that all about, Cristiano?
It was just a matter of weeks ago that the Juventus star was inviting Messi out to dinner.
Seeing Messi give a nod to Liverpool’s Mane is intriguing.
There’s little, if anything, to link the two, so perhaps Messi just recognises a great talent when he sees one.
He gave his final vote to De Jong, who enjoyed a remarkable campaign with Ajax before joining up with Messi at Barcelona.
Van Dijk gave his first vote to Messi and used his other two to mark the brilliant performances of two of his club teammates, Mohamed Salah and Mane.
Van Dijk’s vote:
1. Lionel Messi
2. Mohamed Salah
3. Sadio Mane
Click HERE to see the full list of votes.News Now - Sport News