Thursday, 2 March 2023

Messi rejects Mbappe and chooses Neymar

By db-admin – Lionel Messi was named the 2022 FIFA Men’s Footballer of the Year in Paris beating his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe and 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema from the top three to claim the award. But as the player’s votes were revealed, it turned out that Messi actually put Mbappe second in the vote despite his obvious talent, instead putting Neymar as his top choice.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s relationship with Neymar is hardly a surprise at this point. They became great friends during their time at Barcelona and have been able to reunite since Messi moved to PSG in 2021. However, Mbappe enjoyed a stellar 2022 alongside Messi, while also scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup final to come close to claiming the crown.

Mbappe finished second in the rankings with 44 votes to Messi’s 52, while Benzema finished third with 34 votes. All three are on the FIFA FIFPro Men’s World XI roster, with no room for Messi’s first choice.

While Messi turned down Mbappe by placing him second in the top three, former Real Madrid defender Pepe, Cristiano Ronaldo’s international teammate, did not even include Messi in the top three. Neither did Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, with the Egyptian picking Vinicius Junior as number one, followed by Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and PSG’s Achraf Hakimi in third.

Despite that, both Messi and Mbappe appear to have a strong relationship on the pitch at PSG and will need to continue helping each other, along with Neymar, to try to guide Les Parisiens to a three-match winning streak in Ligue 1 at the weekend.

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