Euro 2020 Special

Lionel Messi Favourite As Voting For FIFA Men’s Player Of The Year Award Closes

The voting for the prestigious FIFA awards for 2022 have closed last week, with Lionel Messi currently the hot favourite to clinch the Men’s Player of the Year award for his extraordinary leadership of Argentina’s national team in the FIFA World Cup 2022 held in Qatar. The voters for the award include media representatives, national team coaches and captains along with the general public. Notably, Cristiano Ronaldo has not made it to the nominations list – the Portuguese legend had a forgettable year on and off the field with controversies surrounding him throughout the year.

As the 2022-23 season of world football inches to a close, here are five favourites to win the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award:


#5: Luka Modric

Luka Modric might be 37 years old, but his stamina on the field shows no signs of ageing. Throughout Croatia’s campaign in the World Cup, Luka Modric was all over the field, leading the team from front and centre as he led the team to a third-place finish. while the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi conserved their energies to focus on scoring goals, the midfielder played an active role when Croatia were out of possession, ending the tournament with three goals and two assists and winning the Bronze Ball.

At Real Madrid, Luka Modric played an active part in their La Liga-winning 2021-22 season, scoring twice and providing five assists. He has been instrumental in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans in the UEFA Champions League, as Los Blancos cruised to lift the trophy. Extending his stint at the club for one more year, Luka Modric continues to be the key man for the Spanish club in the middle, scoring five goals and providing three assists in 29 games across competitions this season.


#4: Karim Benzema

Missing out on the World Cup due to an injury is the only blemish on Karim Benzema’s otherwise perfect year, with the French veteran winning the prestigious Ballon d’Or for his extraordinary performance on the field.

Karim Benzema scored a whopping 15 goals in the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League, finishing the tournament as the top scorer as Real Madrid became European champions. The 35-year-old scored 27 goals in 32 appearances in La Liga last season and is on a brilliant run in the current season with nine goals in the current season.

Although he missed out on the world’s most coveted trophy, Karim Benzema scored in the finals of the Club World Cup last week to add yet another international achievement to his name.


#3: Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award for the last two years with his dominant performances in the Bundesliga. The Polish legend won the European Golden Shoe for the 2021-22 season, scoring 35 goals in the Bundesliga and 10 goals in the Champions League.

After moving to Barcelona ahead of the season, the Polish legend is continuing with his impressive goal-scoring form. In the highly competitive atmosphere of the Spanish league, Robert Lewandowski has scored 14 goals for the Blaugrana in 18 appearances, with five more assists to his name.

In an otherwise brilliant career, the lack of a World Cup goal bothered the 34-year-old throughout his career. But by scoring in Poland’s group stage game against Saudi Arabia in Qatar, he can now play with utmost pride further in his career, as Poland winning the World Cup despite his individual brilliance is highly unlikely.


#2: Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe might have bagged the Golden Boot award in the 2022 World Cup, but the expression on his face while receiving the award tells all one needs to know about what the youngster really wants. With eight goals in the World Cup, which included an outstanding hat-trick in the finals, Kylian Mbappe looked in the prime of his career in 2022.

The 24-year-old scored 28 goals in 35 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 last season, and ge is following it up with 13 goals in the current season. With seven goals in the ongoing Champions League, PSG are once again looking to the youngster to rescue their campaign on the European stage. 

Of all the contenders, Kylian Mbappe has the most realistic chance of taking away the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award from Lionel Messi. His club statistics are better than the Argentinians, and by winning the Golden Boot award, the 24-year-old has nullified the effect of not winning the World Cup.


#1: Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is undoubtedly the hot favourite among the general public to win the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award, along with the Ballon d’Or. Capping his international career on a high note, Lionel Messi was front and centre of Argentina’s campaign in the World Cup. His two goals in the final were cheered on by millions of fans, and Argentina’s victory in the penalty shootout is well-deserved given the legend’s contributions to the game.

The 35-year-old had a relatively silent 2021-22 season with Paris Saint-Germain, scoring six goals and providing 15 assists in Ligue 1. Even during the current season, the Argentinian captain’s record in club football is far from perfect, with just 15 goals across competitions. While those numbers are low for Lionel Messi’s standards, they are extraordinary given the star’s age and the presence of both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the team.

With all the drama surrounding the rift between Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe at Paris Saint-Germain, the contest between both stars for the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award will add another dimension to the fan wars online.




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