Clowning from FIFA: all about Messi's award for the best football player of the year

The award ceremony for the best from FIFA took place — The Best FIFA Football Awards. Various football people were awarded here with various awards.

Of course, the highlight of the ceremony had to be the award for the best football player 2023 among men. It has always been like this, but not this time.

Personally, I am a huge Lionel Messi fan, but during the ceremony I was preparing news about The Best FIFA Player and had already written the title “Erling Holland – the best in 2023”.

Source: Getty Images

Why did I do this?

Firstly, last February FIFA already gave such an award to Leo Messi, then it was said that the players’ achievements for a whole year and a half were being reviewed — from August 2021 to December 2022.

Secondly, on the official FIFA website it is written in black and white “ The accolade recognizes the most outstanding performers in men's game from the period of 19 December 2022 to 20 August 2023 ”. That is, only achievements from the day after the World Championship final on December 18 until the end of summer are counted. Roughly speaking, the second half of last season.

The end date — August 20 — is the day when Leo Messi lifted the League Cup over his head with Inter Miami. He previously won the French championship with PSG, but did Leo have a phenomenal year? Did he have a super achievement?

My personal answer is no.

On the other hand, Erling Goland managed to score seven goals in the Champions League and 18 goals in 22 Premier League matches in the spring. Yes, he was not super productive, as in the first half of the season, yes, he had a lackluster performance in the semi-finals and final of the Champions League, but at the same time he won almost everything he could.

Source: Getty Images

Let's compare rough statistics for the period from December 19 to August 20?

Holland: 44 matches, 37 goals, 5 assists; Messi: 37 matches, 27 goals, 8 assists;

Here I counted all matches in championships, cups, super cups, friendly games for national teams. All. And even statistics are on the Norwegian’s side.

How was the winner determined?

FIFA has the following rules. The captains of all national teams voted, the coaches of the national teams and one media representative from all FIFA member countries voted.

Ukraine was also represented and neither Andrei Yarmolenko nor Sergei Rebrov placed Erling Goland not only as a leader, but even in the TOP-2. And there were quite a lot of them. Fans also contributed.

And it was the fans and national team captains who mostly preferred Messi, while Goland was supported by coaches and journalists. The guys got the same number of votes, but the Argentine won, because according to the rules, the one who has more support from the captains becomes better.

So why the clowning?

At the beginning of the text I wrote about the highlight, the cherry on the cake, in the form of the award for the best football player. And imagine my surprise when at the end of the ceremony there were two main awards left — for a football player and a football player.

And so presenter Thierry Henry and his partner announce that now we will find out the name of the best men's football player! What? Why? OK.

Two young ladies come out with an envelope and dryly proclaim the name of Lionel Messi. The reaction of the audience was indicative: dry applause for about 10 seconds, and then complete silence.

Leo did not appear on stage, he did not come to this ceremony, perhaps he was not informed that he had won? Or maybe he decided that this was too much? Moreover, they didn’t even record any kind of welcome video message! Clownery.

Henri had to get out. He walked up to the trophy that was about to be presented to Messi and said that he would take it because, firstly, he had never won one, and secondly, his co-host was a Tottenham fan, which means he would “never pick up the trophy.”. The audience, of course, laughed because it was a clown show.

And that is not all. Next, the legendary football player Marta took the stage.. She was presented with a special award for her contribution to sports. To be honest, here I thought for a second, maybe I was mistaken and Messi was given the same award? But no.

Source: Getty Images

Why did I remember Martha? 'Cause she's connected to another clownery. The official FIFA page on the social network X.com (formerly Twitter) congratulated Marta on receiving the award with a special picture, and 15 minutes later announced Messi’s victory.

Again. Messi was recognized as the best player in the world Before Martha was called on stage. That is, if someone followed the ceremony only through FIFA social networks, then they would not have known about the Argentine’s victory for a good half hour. Clownery.

In custody. Is it Messi's fault that he won? No. Is FIFA to blame for the fact that respondents voted this way? Partially, was it worth giving 25% of the votes to the fans? Is it FIFA's fault that this all looked shockingly terrible? Yes, absolutely. You not only presented the most controversial award in history, but you also did it in the most amazing way, without the winner himself, without a video from the winner, thank you for at least showing the photo.

Vasily Voytyuk

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