Lionel Messi picked Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar ahead of Kylian Mbappe with his vote for the FIFA Best Award on Monday.
The Argentine star added another accolade to his cabinet as he scooped the award after his country’s win at the World Cup last year.
He and his fellow PSG attackers were all nominated for the award having each excelled over the past one year.
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Mbappe, who was pipped by Messi in Qatar, again played second fiddle to the former Barcelona star as he came second.
Karim Benzema was third. Neymar wasn’t in top three, but would’ve been first had Messi been the one incharge.
There has always been a debate between Neymar and Mbappe, who have shared the same pitch since they first played together in Paris in 2017.
The Brazilian star is seven years his team-mate’s senior and made the move to the Ligue 1 club from Barcelona, where he played with Messi.
The two South Americans share a good relationship, and Neymar reportedly offered to vacate the No 10 shirt when Messi joined, only for the Argentine to decline his kind proposal.
Messi previously told TUDN Mexico on his relationship with Neymar: “I would have liked to have more fun with him in Barcelona, but life brought us together in Paris. We are happy to be together. I love playing with him and being with him every day.”
Neymar has picked another injury in Paris with his future beyond this campaign still unclear despite having a number of years to run on his contract.
PSG are looking to trim their wage bill and could seek to move on the Brazil international, who is earning around £600,000-per-week.
Messi too could leave when his contract expires this summer, despite the player clearly still being influential. He’s continued to come up with big moments for the club and was happy to pick up the FIFA award for the second time.
He said: “It’s amazing. It’s been a tremendous year and it’s an honour for me to be here and win this award. Without my team-mates I wouldn’t be here. I achieved the dream I had been hoping for for so long. Very few people can achieve that and I have been lucky to do so.”