Barcelona superstar Messi snubbed Cristiano Ronaldo in The Best FIFA Men’s Player voting, while only naming Robert Lewandowski as his third choice for the award.
Lewandowski clinched the individual prize in Zurich after being recognised by the majority of supporters, journalists, national team managers and captains for his remarkable 2019-20 campaign at Bayern.
He scored 55 goals in 47 matches in all competitions last season, firing the German club to Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Champions League treble in the process.
He beat off competition from Messi and Ronaldo in the last three-man shortlist, with the former denied his second FIFA award and the Juve forward missing out on a record third win.
Football’s international governing body has now made the votes public, giving fans the opportunity to find out who the players picked before the ceremony on Thursday.
Ronaldo, who helped Juventus win a ninth successive Serie A title last campaign, included Lewandowski, Messi and Kylian Mbappe in his final three, but was not among his rival’s final choices.
Messi backed former Barcelona team-mate Neymar to win the award and put Mbappe in at second before giving a nod to Lewandowski, having seen both players inspire PSG to their first-ever final in the Champions League.
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The Argentine forward’s decision to include two PSG players is likely to raise few eyebrows, because he has been heavily linked with a transfer move to Paris next year.
And Neymar expressed a desire to play with Messi again in France, telling ESPN: “What I want the most is to enjoy playing with him again. He can play in my role, it wouldn’t be a problem with me! For sure, next year we have to do it.”
Messi pushed for a transfer away from Barca in the summer only to perform a U-turn over his future amid the threat of a possible legal dispute, but his current deal is set to expire at the end of this campaign.