Lionel Messi: Filipe Luis' speech when Barcelona star didn't win FIFA Best

Lionel Messi was defended by Filipe Luis in 2018

Lionel Messi has won an insane amount of individual accolades throughout his career.

The Barcelona star is a six-time Ballon d'Or winner and he's also lifted the coveted European Golden Shoe award on the same number of occasions.

To be honest, we could spend a lot of time naming Messi's various individual honours and by the end of it, things would start getting a little tedious.

That's how many he's won and when the 33-year-old is not in the mix to win an award, people are left scratching their heads.

That was certainly the case in 2018 when Messi wasn't named as one of the final three nominees for the Best FIFA Men's Player.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah and Luka Modric were the players chosen and that prompted a rather iconic reaction from Atletico Madrid legend, Filipe Luis.

Messi & Luis in action

"[FIFA's The Best] Award is for the best player in the world. In my opinion, the best player in the world is [Lionel] Messi," Luis said while on international duty with Brazil.

"Today, last year, two years ago and three years ago. From the moment that Messi does not win the award, with everything that he does, it loses some of its credibility.

"No matter if one player won the Champions [League], if another played the final. In my opinion, Messi is the best [in] the world. And he has been for several years.

"OK, Neymar will be there one day, [Mohamed] Salah deserves to be at the top three, Cristiano [Ronaldo] deserves to be at the top three.

"But, to demonstrate his level in such a way in every single game he plays, I don't have any doubt that he [Messi] is the best player in the world."


Well said, Filipe.

The fact one of Messi's rivals openly defended him in such a manner is yet another reason why many believe him to be the greatest player of all time.

Luis' assessment was pretty accurate too, because the Argentine - who tormented him on many occasions - was easily good enough in the 2017/18 season to warrant a place in the final three nominees for the FIFA Best award.

In his 54 games in all competitions for Barcelona, the little magician scored 45 goals and assisted a further 18.

Had any other player produced those numbers, heads would have been turned. Sadly for Messi, his outrageous consistency sometimes results in him being under appreciated.

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Modric was eventually crowned the winner of the award in 2018, but the following year, Messi deservedly scooped the accolade to add to his enormous collection.

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