After a successful season by winning the Spanish La Liga trophy, Copa del rey runner up, and UCL semifinals with Barcelona, FIFA declared this year that Lionel Messi is the best player in the world in 2019. Lionel Messi this year beats Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) and Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) to win his sixth FIFA’ best player in the world award. This prize makes Messi in the top record of the number of winning FIFA’s award separating Leo from his rival Cristiano Ronaldo who received the FIFA’ best player award five times and last one was in 2017 with Real Madrid. A period of three years in row since his first award in 2009 is considered the longest of not being the best world player for captain Barcelona, Messi. However, the real questions, does Lionel Messi really deserve the best player in the world in 2019? Is his accomplishments in 2019 considered the best among players? If not, then who should be the best player?
Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?
In the last decade, there was a high competition between the two players Messi and Ronaldo upon who is the best player in the world. From 2008 and 2017, the award was equally obtained by either Messi or Ronaldo (five times each), leading to an ongoing debate in who is the best player in the world. However, many people also thought neither Messi nor Ronaldo deserve it in some years. For example, many argue that in 2010, Messi should not have been chosen as the best player in the world over his teammate in Barcelona Andrés Iniesta or Xavier Hernández, who also acquired the world cup with their national team, Spain. The same problem happened with Ronaldo who was announced to be the best player in the world in 2013 beating his rival Lionel Messi and Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich). Since Bayern Munich won the UEFA Champions’ League that year, many thought Ribéry is going to be selected the best player in 2013, but the surprise was that Ronaldo who only won the La Liga with Real Madrid obtained it. So, is 2019 FIFA’s award replicating what happened in 2010 or 2013? Probably, Yes. despite his 36 goals in the La Liga, Messi in 2019 only won the local league while Virgil Van Dijk won the UEFA Champions’ League with Liverpool after 12 years and also led his national team, Netherlands, to the UEFA Nations League Final. Thus, it seems that the legend of Lionel Messi plays a critical role in influencing the FIFA to announce Messi as the best player in the world in 2019.
Why is Virgil Van Dijk the Best Player in the World?
While many may claim that Messi’s talent is superior Van Dijk, FIFA’s award is always built on the achievements a player reaches during the year instead of the pure skills. Obviously, Van Dijk with Liverpool in 2019 gained the most valuable trophy (UEFA Champions’ League) besides his team was also only over a point of Manchester city to attain the local league that has been absent from Liverpool for more than 20 years. Also, with the national level, Netherlands team was suffering last years. Netherlands team did not even qualify for the world cup in 2018; however, in 2019, by Van Dijk leading, the team made it to the UEFA Nations League Final. All these successful achievements of Van Dijk emphasizes that he deserves to be the best player in the world in 2019, neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo. Hence, the last question would be who will be the winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2019? Is it the number six for Messi or Van Dijk will receive it for the first time?