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Lionel Messi is a world footballer – “I would say it’s a scandal”

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Lionel Messi is a world footballer – “I would say it’s a scandal”

Football press reviews on the Messi election

“I would say this is a scandal”

Status: 16.01.2024 | Reading time: 4 minutes

Lionel Messi is world footballer of the year

Lionel Messi doesn’t even have to travel anymore, but he still wins everything and has been voted World Footballer of the Year again. He beat goal guarantor Erling Haaland (23) from triple winner Manchester City and Kylian Mbappé (25) from Paris Saint-Germain.

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Erling Haaland doesn’t win the World Player of the Year vote as expected – but Lionel Messi. This has caused astonishment internationally and even outrage among some. Reactions and press reviews about the FIFA Prize.

The missed award for World Footballer of the Year once again caused astonishment in Erling Haaland’s home country of Norway. “How can Erling Haaland not be the best player in 2023?” asked former Bundesliga professional Jan Aage Fjörtoft on Twitter and added: “If awards like these want to gain recognition among the players, they have to stop doing it. The prizes will be worthless in the end.” Manchester City’s favorite striker Haaland narrowly lost the election to Argentine world champion Lionel Messi.

He emerged victorious for the eighth time. Like Haaland, the Argentine world champion received a total of 48 points in the vote by the world association Fifa. The election was therefore decided by the majority of first votes from the captains of the national teams – and here Messi was clearly ahead of Haaland (64) with 107.

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“I need to calm down a bit first. I’m surprised,” said Carl-Erik Torp, former professional footballer and current expert at the Norwegian television station NRK, in an initial reaction and shortly afterwards added: “I would say it’s a scandal.” Also football expert Lars Tjaernaas from the daily newspaper “Aftenposten” agreed: “Lionel Messi is the best player of all time. But he wasn’t the best player in 2023. That award should have gone to Erling Braut Haaland.”

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Lothar Matthäus felt the same way. “If you don’t take into account the World Cup, which made Messi the winner of the Ballon d’Or, Messi must not be the winner this time. I think he was the best footballer of the last 20 years, but he didn’t win any major titles with Paris and Miami, where he is now creating hype,” said the 1991 world footballer on Sky.

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The press is also critical of Messi’s choice, especially on the island.

England

The Sun: “What the Haal? Lionel Messi shocked many in London when he beat Erling Haaland at the awards.”

Daily Mirror: “Given the amazing years that both Haaland and Mbappé had, football icon Messi was not expected to take home the award.”

Norway

“Aftenposten”: “A claim that is not particularly controversial: Lionel Messi is no longer one of the ten best football players in the world. But Erling Braut Haaland does. Haaland has been injured since the beginning of December and was not at the awards ceremony in London on Monday evening. He has to wait for another chance to be named the best footballer in the world. But that mainly depends on one thing: he has to go back to work soon. And to you, Messi: Sorry, but you don’t deserve exactly this prize.”

Spain

Brand: “A surreal announcement… and a bang: Messi is still “The Best”. The images from the television broadcast were strange. Neither Haaland, Mbappé nor Messi, the three finalists, were present in London.”

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As: “Messi wins the most controversial ‘The Best’ award of all time. Erling Haaland went into the award ceremony as the big favorite, but the king was once again Leo Messi.”

Argentina

The nation: “Lionel Messi has started to retire from major awards, but the football world still chooses him.”

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Clarion: “The incredible vote that crowned Lionel Messi with The Best award.”

Olé: “Without a doubt, the price for Messi this time was not expected. He stayed in Miami because preparation has just begun and he is traveling to El Salvador with his new teammate Luis Suárez. From Miami he smiled in a bizarre situation: he won the “The Best” award after his coronation at the World Cup and without playing in a European league. A bonus prize.”

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Italy

Gazzetta dello Sport: “The best? Lionel Messi, of course. The legendary Argentine adds another award to his collection of trophies.”

“Corriere dello Sport”: “Another trophy for Lionel Messi, the reigning world champion with his Argentina team, who was named Best Player of 2023 at the Best Fifa Football Awards. The 36-year-old Inter Miami star repeated his victory last year by surprisingly beating Norwegian Erling Haaland and Frenchman Kylian Mbappé.”

Austria

Delivery man: “The election for World Footballer of the Year brought a surprising result. It was not the clearly favored Erling Haaland, but Lionel Messi who won the prestigious award in London on Monday. It is the eighth trophy for the record winner from Argentina, but the freestyle has a stale aftertaste.”

Switzerland

Blick: “Messi’s honor is a surprise, as Erling Haaland was considered the favorite for the title. Especially because the 2022 World Cup was no longer taken into account.”

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