Leo Messi has finished in second place in the FIFA The Best award for the best player in the world. The Argentine star finished just behind Cristiano Ronaldo who took the award with Messi runner up and Neymar in third place. The Barça number 10 has been amongst the three finalists for the last 11 seasons in the various awards (FIFA World Player, Ballon d’Or, FIFA Ballon d’Or and The Best) and has taken the prize on an unprecedented five occasions: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
The awards ceremony took place on Monday 23 October at the London Palladium in the United Kingdom and the FC Barcelona Women’s player Lieke Martens was the winner of the award for the best player in the women’s game. FC Barcelona were represented by Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu as well as sporting vice president Jordi Mestre; CEO, Òscar Grau; sporting manager of the Football Area, Josep Segura; the figure responsible for Institutional and Sporting Relations for the football first team, Guillermo Amor and the director of Football, Raúl Sanllehí.
The award was the second since FIFA separated the prize from the magazine France Football with whom they co-awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or prize until 2015. The French publication continues to award the Ballon d’Or with Leo Messi and Luis Suárez named on a 30 player shortlist for this year. FIFA’s The Best award is for the 2016/17 season and not for the calendar year as previously. The prize is decided by votes from national team coaches, national team captains, a select group of journalists and fans registered on the FIFA website.
Aside from the second place for Leo Messi and the award for Lieke Martens, the blaugranes also have two representatives in the FIFA FIFPRO ideal 11. Leo Messi and Andrés Iniesta make it into the best team from 2016/17: Buffon, Dani Alves, Bonucci, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Kroos, Modric, Iniesta, Neymar Jr, Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.