The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 threw a massive surprise when Barcelona and Argentina skipper Lionel Messi was declared as the Best FIFA Men's Player. With Virgil van Dijk winning the European Player of the Year award, the Dutchman was billed as the favourite to win yet another trophy only for the Catalonian talisman Messi to end his streak. While there is no denying Lionel Messi enjoyed a splendid last season with 54 goals and being the top scorer of the Champions League, FIFA clearly have not looked at the big picture with the likes of Virgil van Dijk's consistent performances and even Bernardo Silva's contribution in the five trophies Manchester City won in the 2018/19 campaign. A look at the four reasons we believe Lionel Messi does not deserve the Best Male player awarded to him in Milan last night. Lionel Messi Wins FIFA Men's Player of the Year Award as Cristiano Ronaldo Skips Ceremony, Megan Rapinoe Bags Women's Honour; Check Full Winners' List.
1. Virgil Van Dijk Won The UEFA Champions League
We all remember the way Lionel Messi and his Barcelona team threw away a three-goal lead at Anfield to be knocked out by eventual champions Liverpool. Winning the Champions League is considered to be the toughest thing for professional footballers, and if we do not take into consideration Messi's disappearance in the second leg of the semi-final clash courtesy a heroic performance by Virgil van Dijk, the whole idea of the award comes a cropper.
2. Poor Performance With The National Team
Lionel Messi has not won a trophy with the national team, and the stat showed no reversal in the Copa America 2019. Argentina were knocked out by Brazil in the semi-final with their skipper being below par throughout the campaign with a solitary goal to his name. In the third-place match, he was sent-off and to make matters worse, he made baseless accusations against the CONMEBOL federation.
3. Impact of Virgil van Dijk and Bernardo Silva In Their Respective Clubs
The best player is someone who lifts his or her team in a manner no one is able to do so. Take, for example, the stories of two players Bernardo Silva and Virgil van Dijk who were a force to reckon with both their clubs and the national team. Winger Bernardo Silva scored and set up goals for fun as his Manchester City side won five domestic trophies. His performance against the Netherlands in the final of the UEFA Nations League was exemplary too. Virgil van Dijk despite being a defender, made a name for himself helping Liverpool reach record points in the league and also won the European trophy along with an appearance in the final of the UEFA Nations League.
4. Defenders Are Always Ignored by FIFA
It is almost a given that defenders are not considered for the top honour by FIFA as they are simply not glamorous enough. Scoring goals gets you in the limelight and FIFA in a way has proved it year after year by awarding the forwards. The art of defending has never been easy and prior to Virgil van Dijk, former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro was the only player who was even considered by FIFA for the best player award back in 2006.