Argentine football star Lionel Messi won the Fifa Men's Player of the Year award for 2018-19 season edging past rival Cristiano Ronaldo and UEFA Men's Player of the Year award winner Virgil Van Dijk. However, the football fans went on to question the basis on which Messi was selected as the winner.
Messi's Portuguese counterpart and arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo who had won the award in 2016 and 2017 did not attend the event, which was held in Milan's La Scala Opera House on September 23.
Moreover, according to reports, Cristiano Ronaldo did not include Lionel Messi when he voted for the best player's award whereas Messi did. Is the Juventus star not happy with the selection? Is this the reason because of which he didn't come? These questions are doing the rounds on the internet.
— Vivek Dangi (@RealVivekDangi) September 24, 2019
Voting by #TheBest nominees for the award: Ronaldo: 1- De Ligt, 2- De Jong, 3- Mbappe Messi: 1- Mane, 2- Ronaldo, 3- De Jong Van Dijk: 1- Messi, 2- Salah, 3- Mane Hats off to Van Dijk for putting Messi at no. 1 even though Messi was his main competitor. pic.twitter.com/iuYBV49vwR — Jan Sher Khan Sheikh (@ItsJanSherKhan) September 24, 2019
The 32-year-old football star who was in prolific form last season was ecstatic after receiving the award and thanked the people responsible for giving him the awards. He further went on to say that the most important thing for him is winning collective awards.
"I want to thank those who decided to give me this recognition. The most important thing for me is the collective awards, but today is also a very special night for me," Messi told after receiving the award, as quoted by AFP.
But, Messi's receiving the award was not taken well by the majority of football fans all over the world as many of them questioned about the criteria to judge for such an honour.
— Daisy Makandi (@DaisyMakandi) September 23, 2019
Many even expressed that the FIFA is biased and even stated that Van Dijk had a much better season with Liverpool as he played an instrumental role in the UEFA Champions League win of the Reds.
We all know that this man deserves the Fifa's player of the year award, but Fifa are kids.
But us Liverpool fans, we know who the real player of the year is?
If Messi wins the Ballon D'or over Van Dijk again so it will really be the biggest robbery ever. pic.twitter.com/QO8TwfFqq2
— THE RAYHAN KHOYRATTY (@THERAYHAN01) September 23, 2019
Messi is one of the greatest footballers of All time, We agree but these awards are about who had the best season not who has had the best 10 years. Van Dijk had the better season — Imoh (@ImohUmoren) September 23, 2019
The netizens claimed that the 28-year-old defender deserved the prize more than Messi and blamed FIFA for giving it to Argentine. They also mentioned that now it will be interesting to see who wins the Ballan d'Or award.
— K.O.T G.O.A.T™ (@ItsJohnMwendaH) September 23, 2019
On the other hand, Ronaldo's fans claimed that the Portuguese goal-scoring machine deserved the award more than Messi and Van Dijk.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp won the FIFA best coach of the year award while the Reds goalkeeper Alisson Becker won the best goalkeeper award. The FIFA women's best player of the year award was won by the USA football star Megan Rapinoe.