“Bigger fanboys than us” – Fans DEBATE whether Lionel Messi ‘deserved’ to win FIFA Best Award as players’ top 3 votes revealed

National team captains' votes were disclosed post-award ceremony, surprising fans.


“Bigger fanboys than us” – Fans DEBATE whether Lionel Messi ‘deserved’ to win FIFA Best Award as players’ top 3 votes revealed

Luka Modric and Kylian Mbappe were among the captains who voted for Lionel Messi. (Via X/@goal & B/R Football)

The FIFA The Best Awards has social media buzzing as Lionel Messi was crowned the winner for 2023. The Argentine ‘narrowly’ edged Erling Haaland to the award as Kylian Mbappe came third after the votes were revealed. Even though several National team captains voted for the Argentine, fans have their interpretations, as many believe that the award should have gone to the Norwegian.

Lionel Messi led Argentina to the 2022 FIFA World Cup while Erling Haaland enjoyed a treble-winning season while also being the top scorer. The fact that Luka Modric, Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe and Christian Pulisic all voted for Messi over Haaland was highlighted by a certain faction of fans. They argued that the award should’ve rightly gone to Haaland and not the #10.

Other surprising captain votes were that of Portugal captain Pepe and Lionel Messi himself. While the centre-back voted for teammate Bernardo Silva as his first pick, Messi did not make his top three.

Lionel Messi on the other hand voted for immediate rival Erling Haaland as his first choice. He included Kylian Mbappe and Julian Alvarez at second and third.

Heated debates unfold as Lionel Messi crowned FIFA The Best

Even though Lionel Messi’s crowning as The Best came to the delight of fans worldwide, others claim that the same was ‘undeserved’. A faction of supporters called for the award to be given to Champions League winner Erling Haaland. They argued that the captains’ votes were ‘biased’ and not given to the deserving candidate.

Virgil van Dijk, Christian Pulisic and Harry Kane
Virgil van Dijk, Christian Pulisic and Harry Kane also voted for Lionel Messi. (Via X/@brfootball)

Pointing to Harry Kane, a fan mocked the England captain, saying that he probably didn’t understand the voting criteria. Others said that it wasn’t ‘humanly possible’ for several National team captains to all vote for the ‘undeserving’ Argentine. Some made fun of the USMNT captain, saying that Captain America didn’t do justice this time round. Others were surprised and even ‘shocked’ as to how Luka Modric and Federico Valverde cast their votes for the Argentine as well.

Fans mocked claims that the award was ‘rigged’ and questioned how Modric and Valverde, both playing for a rival club, could cast their votes for him. Others slammed social media forcing a ‘Messi agenda’ in their posts.

Another well-liked comment read that the players and captains seem to be bigger fanboys than the supporters themselves. Social media also took notice of Alf-Inge Haaland‘s disapproving reaction to Messi bagging the award.

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