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Updated January 17th, 2024 at 14:06 IST

Lionel Messi's win at FIFA Awards upsets football legend: 'He can't be the winner, No major titles'

Lionel Messi won the FIFA World's Best Men's Player this week, but it upset the football legend who won the World Cup and Ballon d’Or in 1990.

Aryan Suraj Chadha
Lionel Messi remains doubtful starter for Argentina
Messi doubtful | Image:AP
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Lionel Messi won the Best FIFA Men's Player Award for the second year in a row following a tight race with Erling Haaland. Meanwhile, on January 16, 2024, Aitana Bonmati, an accomplished striker from Barcelona and Spain, was presented with the prestigious Best FIFA Women's Player Award at a major event in London. Lionel Messi has settled the "GOAT" argument, according to various sportsmen and analysts, but there are some who believe that the award given to the Argentine captain was undeserved.

3 things you need to know 

  • Lionel Messi won the FIFA Men’s Player Award 
  • Aitana Bonmati received the FIFA Women’s Player Award 
  • Pep Guardiola won ‌Best Men's Manager of the Year award

Also Read: Hertha Berlin left 'stunned' after death of club president Kay Bernstein

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Lothar Matthaus claims Messi did not deserve to win the FIFA Best Player Award

Lionel Messi has been under fire from Lothar Matthaus again. According to Matthaus, Messi's lack of "major titles" in 2023 made him undeserving of the FIFA Best Award.

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The Argentine sensation, who was hailed by his teammates, won the FIFA Best Award, adding yet another notable honour to his remarkable record. Even though Messi won an eighth Ballon d'Or for leading Argentina to victory in the 2022 World Cup, Matthaus seems to be doubting the importance of his 2023 accomplishments, especially in terms of significant victories.

Messi and Erling Haaland, the striker for Manchester City, tied for first place in the FIFA Best voting, but Messi won because more international captains gave him their votes. The former captain of Germany, Lothar Matthaus, feels that Messi's position in the vote is unfair. His remarks to Sky Deutschland underline the viewpoints that differ throughout the football community and the subjective character of individual accolades in the sport. He said:

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“He can't be the winner this time. I think he was the best footballer of the last 20 years, but he has been in Paris and Miami, where he is now creating a hype, and not won any major titles.”

“If you look at the great successes, there is no way past Manchester City and - when choosing the best player - Erling Haaland. He won the most important titles with Man City, his strike rate was impressive. That should be be decisive when you choose the best and most important player - and that was Haaland.”

Also Read: Marseille signs defender Ulisses Garcia to boost options at left-back

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This victory was Messi's fourth FIFA Best Men's Player award in his brilliant career. The award assessment period ran from August 2022 until December 19, 2023. During this season, Messi's performances were critical to PSG's Ligue 1 title victory, with 21 goals and 20 assists in 41 games. Erling Haaland, on the other hand, had incredible success with Manchester City, winning the European treble and finishing the season with 52 goals in 53 games.

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Published January 17th, 2024 at 14:06 IST

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