Former Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi, has described Lionel Messi’s recognition as the Best Player of the Year by FIFA was a well-deserved honour, surpassing Erling Haaland in the competition.
Speaking to Sky Sports in a 58-second video on X, Tuesday, Obi addressed the question of whether Messi deserved the title of FIFA’s best player for the year.
He stated, “I think he did. We’ve complained that he hasn’t won the World Cup with Argentina. That was the only question. He hadn’t won it for Argentina. Then, he won the Copa America. The same year, he won the Copa America and the World Cup. Come on.”
While acknowledging the football skills of Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, who came second, Obi commented on Messi’s road to winning the best male player of the year.
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“I understand that Haaland is a great player. He plays for Manchester City, a team that creates chances and wins games. They’ve lost only one in nine or 10 games. They create chances, score goals, and know how to win games without Haaland,” Obi said.
Messi secured the trophy after clinching the Ligue 1 title with PSG and the Leagues Cup with Inter Miami.
Despite being absent to collect the award, Messi’s victory was unexpected, especially with Haaland being the clear favourite.
The Manchester City striker, currently injured, was favoured for ‘The Best’ after an extraordinary year, winning the European Golden Boot with a record 36 Premier League goals and securing the treble as Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup winner.
Messi’s win marked his third time securing ‘The Best,’ joining the ranks of Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, and Luka Modric as a three-time winner.
Messi faced tough competition from Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, who came second, and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, who secured the third spot, leading to a tie-break in the voting.
The surprising turn of events at last night’s event saw Messi clinching the Best Player of the Year over Haaland.”