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Updated January 26th, 2024 at 11:27 IST

'If Leo is...'- Sergio Aguero's opinion on Messi vs Haaland FIFA Men's Player of the Year Award

Sergio Aguero gives his views on Lionel Messi's victory over Erling Haaland for Best FIFA Men's Player, sparking discussions within the football community.

Aryan Suraj Chadha
Lionel Messi & Erling Haaland
Lionel Messi & Erling Haaland | Image:AP
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Following his announcement as the FIFA Men's Best Player for 2023 in the London ceremony last week, Lionel Messi found himself back in the spotlight. Even though Messi did not attend the event or share anything about it on social media, he did not acknowledge the prize. Since his stats were not as remarkable as those of Erling Haaland, the runner-up, many questioned whether he deserved the allocade. 

3 things you need to know 

  • Lionel Messi was named the FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year 2023
  • Messi and Haaland tied for 48 votes each 
  • Messi won the allocade after he received more votes from National Team captains

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Sergio Aguero on whether Lionel Messi deserved the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award or not 

Sergio Aguero has commented on Lionel Messi's victory over Manchester City striker Erling Haaland for the Best FIFA Men's Player of the Year title. Messi, 36, won the coveted award earlier this month, defeating Haaland and his former PSG colleague, Kylian Mbappe. Although Messi and Haaland each earned 48 points, Messi won because he received more first-choice selections from national team captains. Mbappe trailed in third place, with 35 points.

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This was Messi's third FIFA Best award, following his wins in 2019 and 2022. Despite Haaland's outstanding performance this year, which included scoring 52 goals to drive City to their first continental triple, Messi's supremacy remained. Given Haaland's tremendous achievements, many advocated that he should be honoured.

However, Aguero had a different viewpoint, claiming that as long as Messi plays, he will remain the summit of football greatness. Aguero's viewpoint, as reported by Stake, demonstrates his unshakable conviction in Messi's unrivalled stature in sport. When asked about Messi's victory over Haaland for the 2023 Best award, Aguero passionately supported Messi as the legitimate recipient. He said: 
 

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“If Leo's still playing, he'll be the best there is.”

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Did Lionel Messi deserve to win the FIFA Best Player Award?

Following his accomplishment in guiding Argentina to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Lionel Messi's ensuing year was marked by remarkable achievements, but not at his typical outstanding level.

Messi emerged as the league's greatest playmaker after winning his second straight Ligue 1 title, amassing 16 assists and 16 goals, earning a berth on the Ligue 1 Team of the Year.

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He had an instant impression after joining MLS club Inter Miami on a free transfer, scoring 11 goals and providing five assists in 14 matches, including a critical part in their League Cup success.

Messi continued his prolific run with Argentina, scoring eight goals and providing an assist in eight matches while playing a key role in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign.

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Messi is now preparing for the season with Inter Miami, and his future games feature confrontations against Saudi Pro League champions Al-Hilal and Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr, following recent matches against El Salvador and FC Dallas.

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Published January 26th, 2024 at 11:27 IST

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