Lionel Messi fails to make the final shortlist announced by FIFA for their Best Player 2018 after being snubbed for the UEFA Player of the Year award.
FIFA have announced their final shortlist for the latest iteration of the yearly award ceremony. What is surprising though, that Lionel Messi has failed to make the final shortlist in the Best Player category for the first time since 2006. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah have bagged the three spots.
The news comes after the Argentine genius was already snubbed in the final shortlist for the UEFA Player of the Year award, with the same three players making the cut there as well. Luka Modric was awarded the honour ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah respectively. Messi finished fifth on the list.
Lionel Messi may have had a sub-par season, only by his own lofty standards. The Argentine boasted a record of 45 goals and 18 assists in 54 matches across all competitions. The global icon topped the scoring charts in La Liga while boasting the joint-most number of assists in the league.
As far as honours are concerned, Lionel Messi won the double with Barcelona. The UEFA snub was met with harsh criticism, with several stating that, while Messi was not at his best form, he should have made the final shortlist, at the very least.
The nominees for FIFA’s Best Player award:
It’s the first time since 2006 Messi hasn’t been nominated 😰 pic.twitter.com/uUvMvyzDyp
— TeamFA (@TeamFA) September 3, 2018
But, not many were complaining about the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric. Almost every one of them were irked by the presence of Mohamed Salah on the list. Granted, the Egyptian had a blistering season in the Premier League.
But, the forward boasted a tally of 44 goals and 16 assists in 52 games across all competitions, numbers meeker than Messi. On the other hand, Salah failed to land any trophies with his club, despite such returns. Lionel Messi was brighter, both in terms of individuality and collective honours.
What is interesting to note is that, even on the international stage, Argentina progressed further than Egypt.
As far as our opinions are concerned, it is already an accepted fact that Lionel Messi had weaker numbers compared to his previous campaigns. But, despite his ‘poor’ return, Lionel Messi eclipsed almost everyone barring Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of goals and direct contribution. His exclusion from the final shortlist is baffling, to say the least.