On Monday evening, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi won the men’s best player of the year award at FIFA’s for the sixth time. The veteran forward beat off competition from Liverpool Dutch man-mountain Virgil van Dijk.
Van Dijk helped Liverpool to win the Champions League last season and also finish as runners-up in the Premier League. Messi on the other hand played a major role in Barcelona picking up a second straight La Liga title.
The award means that he is now ahead of arch-rival Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, who has claimed the gong on five previous occasions.
Messi just keeps producing
Lionel Messi just keeps continuing to rack up goals and assists at an incredible rate. Unfortunately, his start to the new campaign has been curtailed by injury and he has only recently returned to the reigning champions team.
Last season, as usual, Messi was highly prolific in front of goal, scoring 36 goals in just 34 La Liga appearances last season, while also producing 13 assists. No player in Europe could better Messi’s league tally in season 2018/19.
The Argentinian will no doubt add more goals his career tally now he is back from injury. He will continue to impress, scoring goals and creating for his teammates. To rack up that many goals is impressive.
Van Dijk could still win Ballon d’Or
Netherlands international Virgil van Dijk enjoyed a fantastic season. If Liverpool would have won the Premier League title, then maybe the former Southampton star would have won the award. A double of English league title and Champions League would have been hard to ignore. However, these awards tend to favour forward or attacking players, as they usual get the glory and the headlines.
Van Dijk did win the UEFA award earlier this year and was very close behind Messi in the voting for this year’s award. The 28-year-old has helped Liverpool to a perfect record in the Premier League this season, with the Reds most recently winning 2-1 at Chelsea on Sunday.
If he helps the Merseysider’s win the English top-flight this season then he will be in with a big shout for next years award. It is also easy to forget that Van Dijk could still yet claim the Ballon d’Or. In fact, Van Dijk is the favourite to win the award. If he does, then he will become the first defender to pick up the award in the last 13 years.
Barcelona need Messi back to his best
Reigning Spanish champions Barcelona need Messi back to his best, as soon as possible. The Catalan giants host Villarreal in La Liga this evening looking to recover from a poor start to their league season.
Messi has made just one substitute appearance in La Liga so far. Ernesto Valverde’s side have desperately missed the Argentinian’s magic in their attacking play. The team’s performances have led to speculation over the future of their much-maligned head coach.
The 32-year-old is likely to have a big say in tonight’s result, just has he has in so many Barcelona games down the years. It would not be majorly surprising to see him be the matchwinner, despite a lack of game time of late.
Did Lionel Messi deserve to win FIFA’s men’s best player of the year award?