Questioning Lionel Messi’s FIFA The Best award is ‘strange’ as Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni says there is ‘no debate’ over Inter Miami star winning

Messi was named the world's best player in 2023, beating Manchester City star Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe to the prize. His victory sparked debate among fans, but Scaloni insists there should be no question about his success.

"I think the debate goes beyond football, I don't think there is a debate between the footballer or the coach as to why he won it," Scaloni told Marca. "If Haaland or Mbappe had won it, it would have been fine too. It's media stuff. Debating why Messi won it when football people vote is strange."

Messi won the award despite having a rather quiet 2023. After guiding Argentina to the World Cup at the end of 2022, he left PSG to join Inter Miami and led them to Leagues Cup success, but they missed out on a play-off spot in MLS. Haaland, meanwhile, played a starring role as City won the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup and Mbappe helped PSG to the Ligue 1 title.


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