PSG and Argentina national team forward Lionel Messi picked Neymar over Kylian Mbappe for first place in the Best Men’s FIFA Footballer Awards for 2022.
Votes were cast by supporters, national team captains and coaches, including 300 journalists from various nations, with each of the four units given 25 per cent of the vote for Best FIFA Football Awards.
England captain Harry Kane voted for Lionel Messi, Sadio Mane, and Karim Benzema as his top three.
The Tottenham star Kane didn’t include Frenchman Kylian Mbappe, who was part of the France side that knocked his country out of the Qatar World Cup at the quarter-finals stage.
The Argentina captain, Lionel Messi eventually won the award at the ceremony in Paris, having had a stellar 2022 in both club and country.
Messi led Argentina to FIFA World Cup glory in Qatar, winning the trophy and also clinching the Golden Ball award.
The former Barcelona star scored seven goals and provided three assists in the world cup tournament.
After the winners of 2022 FIFA Best players were announced on Monday, February 27 votes cast by footballers were revealed.
The Argentina playmaker, Messi picked his long-time teammate Neymar as his first choice, putting Kylian Mbappe second on his list.
Messi didn’t favor his world cup rival Kylian Mbappe as he voted for Neymar and Karim Benzema ahead of the French football maestro at The Best FIFA Football Awards.
Lionel Messi’s choice came as a shock because while his relationship with his former Barcelona teammate Neymar isn’t a secret, the Brazilian superstar didn’t make any considerable impact in 2022.
The Brazilian struggled with injuries and form at the club level and couldn’t help his country get past the quarterfinals at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
This is obviously why Neymar Jr. finished ninth in the FIFA Best Men’s Player rankings.
Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe, on the other hand, had a sensational 2022 with club and country.
While the Frenchman performed excellently for PSG, Kylian Mbappe also helped France reach the FIFA World Cup final.
The PSG forward scored a stunning hat-trick in the final against Argentina that almost helped Les Bleus lift the World Cup trophy.
As a reward for his brilliant feat, Mbappe eventually won the Golden Boot, scoring eight goals at the Qatar World Cup competition.
The Argentine ace, Lionel Messi received 52 votes, winning the award while Mbappe finished second in the rankings with 44 votes, and his compatriot Karim Benzema; the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner finished third with 34 votes.
Voting Result in Full:
Lionel Messi – 52 points
Kylian Mbappe – 44 points
Karim Benzema – 34 points
Luka Modric – 28 points
Erling Haaland – 24 points
Sadio Mane – 19 points
Julian Alvarez – 17 points
Achraf Hakimi – 15 points
Neymar – 13 points
Kevin de Bruyne – 10 points
Vinicius Jr – 10 points
Robert Lewandowski – 7 points
Jude Bellingham – 3 points
Mohamed Salah – 2 points