Lionel Messi Wins FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player over Kylian Mbappé, Karim Benzema

Francisco RosaFebruary 27, 2023

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 27: Lionel Messi poses with the Best FIFA Men's Payer 2022 award during The Best FIFA Football Awards 2022 on February 27, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Just a couple of months after winning his first World Cup title, Lionel Messi was named FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player on Monday.

It is the second time that Messi, 35, has won the award, and he did so over a loaded contender’s field that included Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema, who both had excellent campaigns in their own right.

FIFA World Cup @FIFAWorldCup

#TheBest FIFA Men’s Player Award 2022 goes to Lionel Messi! 🇦🇷

Messi previously won the award in 2019, and his performance in Qatar this past winter is likely what sealed him winning it this year, as he led Argentina to its first World Cup since 1986.

Not only did Messi end the title drought for La Albiceleste, he did so by being the best player at the tournament by a significant margin. He won the World Cup’s Golden Ball after contributing seven goals and three assists in seven matches.

He scored in every single one of Argentina’s knockout-round games after never doing so in any of his previous four World Cup appearances. Two of those goals came in the final against France, which Argentina eventually won on penalties.

Messi now has as many The Best Men’s Player awards as Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. The only other player to have won the award since 2016 is Luka Modrić, who took it home in 2018.

It’s yet another honor to add to Messi’s overflowing trophy case. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner solidified himself as one of the best to ever play the game a long time ago, and this latest accomplishment only adds to the legend.

Despite reports that he wanted to retire from international soccer following the World Cup in Qatar, Messi has reinforced that he wants to keep on representing Argentina for a little while longer.

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