Lionel Messi beat Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe to take the FIFA Men’s Best player on Monday. The Argentine won the award for a record seventh time and was also named in FIFA’s Best 11.
Messi led Argentina’s 2022 World Cup winning campaign. He scored in all stages of the tournament, including the finals vs Mbappe’s France. He also played a key role in PSG’s run to the 2021/22 French Ligue 1 title.
Kylian Mbappe came second and Benzema was third. The former had a strong 2022 campaign. He won the Ligue 1 along with Messi and was the league’s top-scorer. He led France to the final of the FIFA World Cup, where he scored a hattrick. The youngster bagged the 2022 World Cup Golden Boot.
Benzema won the Ballon d’Or in October. He finished as the top scorer in both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, leading Real Madrid to both titles. However, he missed the World Cup due to injury.
Benzema, who did not attend Monday’s ceremony, posted a cryptic story on Instagram. The Real Madrid forward uploaded a video, where a man can be heard saying: “Liar, yes, you liar.” He wrote ‘Good Night’ in the caption.
Mbappe, on the other hand, seemed very happy for Messi. The PSG mainstay posted a picture of him with an award.
“Another trophy at home. 🏆 Big congratulations to @leomessi you are #TheBest 👑” he captioned the post.
Messi had 53 points against his name. Mbappe had 44 and Benzema finished with 32.
Messi, after receiving the award, said: “Wow it’s amazing. With (Karim) Benzema who isn’t here and Kylian (Mbappe), it’s been a tremendous year. It’s an honour for me to be here tonight and to win this award. Obviously I’d like to express thanks to my team mates, (Lionel) Scaloni — without them, I wouldn’t be here. I’d like to pay tribute to all of my team mates and the team as a whole, we did such a great job.”