We already knew that Leo Messi was the best player in the world, but tonight at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, it has been rubber-stamped. The Argentine has won FIFA's 'The Best' award, after finishing ahead of the Juventus striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Liverpool centre-back, Virgil van Dijk.
"It's a special night for me. I'm lucky to have my wife and two of my three children here with me. It's the first time they're here and to be able to enjoy this with them is unique," he commented on the stage, with his first 'The Best' in his hand. Barça's No.10 now has a trophy that wasn't previously in his cabinet, as he hadn't won it since FIFA founded the award in 2016.
It should be noted, however, that 'The Best' was a substitute for FIFA's Ballon d'Or, which from 2010 to 2016 was jointly awarded with France Football magazine, and which Messi won four times (2010, 2011 , 2012 and 2015).
A year before the appearance of this award, Messi won the 2009 edition of the FIFA World Player award.
De Jong, in the FIFA FIFPro World11
The Argentine wasn't able to win the Puskas Prize, awarded for the best goal of the season. He was up against the Colombian, Juan Fernando Quintero, and the Hungarian, Daniel Zsóri, the latter of whom was declared the winner. Messi was nominated for the goal he scored at Benito Villamarín against Betis, which gave Barça a 1-4 lead and sealed another exhibition from the captain.
Messi was also picked for the best eleven of the season, the FIFA FIFPro World11, the fourteenth consecutive season he has been selected. Frenkie de Jong joins his team-mate in the XI which looks like this: Alisson, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Modric, De Jong, Hazard, Cristiano, Mbappé and Messi.
Marc-André ter Stegen, nominated for the best goalkeeper award, lost out to Alisson, winner of the Champions League and the Copa América.