Messi, new scandal in sight


By: Manu Tournoux

Lionel Messi is one of three finalists for The Best trophy, which rewards the best player of the year 2023. Argentina’s victory in the World Cup, however, is not supposed to be taken into account…

After winning the Ballon d’Or for the eighth time in his career, Lionel Messi is in the running for The Best trophy, which he could also win for the eighth time, if we take into account the period when the trophy for best player awarded by Fifa was shared with the Ballon d’Or.

Messi is among the three finalists for The Best trophy, revealed this Thursday, along with Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé. And it’s a little surprise, because this nomination theoretically does not take into account Argentina’s victory in the World Cup, the recent great feat of arms of La Pulga (which earned it The Best in 2022) . The regulations are clear: The Best 2023 trophy takes into account performances achieved between December 19, 2022 (the day after the World Cup final in Qatar) and August 20, 2023.

Messi still beaten by Haaland?

What did Messi do during this period? The Fifa website recalls that the former Barcelona player contributed to PSG’s victory in Ligue 1, while finishing as the best passer in the French championship, and being named in the standard team of the season. And then, Messi visibly left his mark with his adventure in the United States. “In July, a new challenge presented itself to him: the little genius, who now has more than 100 goals for Argentina, crossed the Atlantic to join Inter Miami, a transfer greeted with enthusiasm and the excitement that one of the greatest players of all time deserves”thus embroiders the Fifa website.

Obviously, this is enough for Messi to invite himself (at least) onto the podium, at the expense of Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Victor Osimhen, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Marcelo Brozovic, Ilkay Gundogan and Julian Alvarez, the other candidates of the first list unveiled by Fifa. We imagine that the incredible raid carried out by Manchester City should allow Erling Haaland to win The Best 2023, but we will only know this during the ceremony which will be held in London, on January 15, 2024.

As a reminder, the three finalists were chosen by an international jury made up of coaches and captains of men’s national teams, journalists and supporters who voted on the official FIFA website.

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