Fresh report reaching NEWS FLAKES NG at PRESS TIME has it that Barcelona star Lionel Messi won the 2019 FIFA The Best Men’s Player award on Monday, beating out Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.
It was the 32-year-old’s first win since the award separated from France Football‘s Ballon d’Or award in 2017.
— #TheBest 🏆 (@FIFAcom) September 23, 2019
Since that separation, every player who has won FIFA’s The Best award has gone on to claim the Ballon d’Or as well.
The 32-year-old has won five Ballon d’Or awards in his career, but individual silverware had eluded him for some time:
It’s Lionel Messi’s first major individual award since 2015 😤 pic.twitter.com/80JZFvDXvk
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 23, 2019
Voters opted to reward his scoring prowess, rather than Van Dijk’s impact on his teams’ overall success and their head-to-head encounter in the UEFA Champions League.
The Reds completed an epic comeback in the semi-finals, winning 4-0 at Anfield on their way to the European title.
The Dutchman also made the final of the UEFA Nations League before losing to Ronaldo’s Portugal. He was awarded the UEFA Men’s Player of the Season award, but Liverpool’s shortcomings in the Premier League―they lost the title by a single point―may have doomed his The Best chances.
Messi won a record sixth Golden Boot by scoring 36 goals in La Liga, and added 12 in the Champions League. He fell flat at the Copa America, however, with just one goal in six outings and a red card in the third-place play-off against Chile.
The Mirror’s Samantha Quek thought Van Dijk should have won ahead of the Argentinian.
This is a visual representation of most strikers trying to take on Virgil Van Dijk…
— Samantha Quek (@SamanthaQuek) September 23, 2019
Ronaldo won the Serie A title in his first year with Juventus, but he scored just 21 league goals. Unlike the other two finalists, he did add international silverware to his collection, winning the Nations League with Portugal.
Messi was also nominated for the Puskas award but lost out to Hungary’s Daniel Zsori.
On the other hand, Megan Rapinoe’s remarkable year continued on Monday, as she was confirmed as the winner of The Best FIFA Women’s Player award.
The United States international beat out her international team-mate Alex Morgan and England defender Lucy Bronze for the award.