Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk voted for Lionel Messi as the top choice for FIFA ‘The Best’ player award but snubbed Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema.
Messi, who guided Argentina to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, won the award last night with 52 points, beating his PSG teammate Mbappe by eight.
Benzema, meanwhile, missed France’s run-up to the final, but enjoyed great success with Real Madrid, doing the La Liga and Champions League double, and came third in the award rankings.
Van Dijk, however, snubbed the French stars and voted for Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne instead behind Messi.
Salah finished as the joint Premier League top-scorer with 22 goals while also lifting the FA Cup and Carabao Cup. He was crucial to Liverpool’s run to the Champions League finals too.
De Bruyne guided Manchester City to a second consecutive top-flight title and a fourth in five years, while shining in Europe too as the Sky Blues reached the last-four once again.
The Belgian finished 10th in the final ‘The Best’ rankings with 10 points while Salah came 14th after garnering just two points.
Van Dijk missed out but was named in FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 with De Bruyne also making the cut. Salah had no place among the best attackers as Mbappe, Messi, Benzema and Erling Haaland were chosen ahead of him.
Mbappe and Messi among the Ballon d’Or favorites too
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe finished as the top-ranked players at FIFA ‘The Best’ men’s player award last night. Given what a terrific season they’ve each had, it’s a no-brainer that both are the leading candidates for the Ballon d’Or too.
Messi has shrugged off his struggles of first season to hit top form with PSG this time around, scoring 17 goals, including 12 in Ligue 1, coupled with another 16 assists in all competitions.
Mbappe, winner of the 2022 World Cup Golden Boot with eight goals, has merely continued from where he left off in Qatar, and currently stands at 29 goals, including 17 in the league as the 24-year-old is eyeing another top-scorer award.
If the duo can guide PSG to more titles this year, the competition between Messi and Mbappe could get more fierce, though one can say that Messi would still have the upper hand over Mbappe given his World Cup triumph.
Either way, both players are at the top of their game right now.