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Do We Really Believe Lionel Messi Is The Fifth Best Player In The World?

Donald Trump becoming president of the U.S. was unexpected. Leicester City winning the EPL was unexpected. Croatia making it to the World Cup final was unexpected.

But Lionel Messi ranked in fifth place for FIFA The Best Awards is just crazy. Fifth place? Are we serious right now? WTF?! Let’s pack our bags people; the apocalypse is coming: the white walkers or an "Independence Day" type of alien invasion. Or worse, we humans will manage to blow up the planet.  

The official results from FIFA Best show this ranking

FIFA Best Messi

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Luka Modric is an outstanding player who has had a brilliant season, but I just don’t understand how he managed to end up in first place. I think that at the end, nobody understands what we are voting for here. 

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Is the FIFA Best Award given to the best player? Because if so, and with all the respect to Modric, who doubts that Lionel Messi is the best player in the planet? And if you do doubt that, you would say Cristiano Ronaldo is the best. There is really no debate here. 

On the other hand, some might argue that neither Ronaldo nor Leo Messi have had the best seasons of their careers and their national teams failed to live up to expectations during the World Cup in Russia, which was the most important tournament year. Fair enough, but then let’s clarify that the award is given to whoever had the best season, not to the best player. Let’s name the award something else if that’s the case, because this is clearly causing some confusion. 

That’s not it though; I can’t fully understand how, if the award is “season-based,” Modric won it. 

Yes, he won the Champions League (with Real Madrid) and, yes, Croatia made to the World Cup final, but … why did we not give it to Antoine Griezmann if this is the criteria? He led France to winning the World Cup. And he led Atletico Madrid to winning the UEFA Europa League. 

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Do we remember that Croatia, to make it to the final, won the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals on penalty kicks? And then the semifinals in extra time? France won six out of seven games (only tied to Denmark 0-0), all of them in the initial 90 minutes.  

And Messi is in fifth place? He scored 45 goals in 54 games and Barcelona won LaLiga and the Copa Del Rey. Mo Salah, in third place, scored 44 goals in 52 games, a very similar record, and won … nothing. Liverpool finished runner-up In the UCL, fourth in the EPL, reached the fourth round in the FA Cup and third round in the EFL Cup. 

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Are we sure we didn’t give awards this year based on a “Ronaldo-Messi fatigue?” Maybe we wanted someone else to win the award just for a change. Or is it maybe that these two brilliant players have sustained such incredible performances and stats year after year that we just don’t get amazed by them anymore?

Can anybody explain how all of this absurd FIFA Best Awards happen? Because I can’t. 

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