- Messi snubs Mbappe in The Best vote
- Instead opts for team-mate Neymar
- Brazilian finished 9th overall
WHAT HAPPENED? Messi was crowned FIFA's The Best Men's Player of 2022 in Paris on Monday night, seeing off Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Mbappe and 2022 Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema from the top three in order to clinch the award. But as the player's votes have been revealed, it turns out Messi actually put Mbappe second in his votes despite his obvious talents, instead putting Neymar as his top pick.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's relationship with Neymar is not a surprise at this point. They became great friends during their time at Barcelona and have been able to reunite since Messi moved to PSG in 2021. However, Mbappe enjoyed an exceptional 2022 alongside Messi, while also scoring a hat-trick in the final of the World Cup to very nearly snatch the crown from under the eyes of his Argentine colleague in what was a showcase of his abilities.
Mbappe finished second in the rankings on the night with 44 votes compared to Messi's 52, while Real Madrid's Benzema finished third with 34 votes. All three lined up together in the FIFA FIFPro Men's World XI - where there was no room for Messi's top pick.
AND WHAT'S MORE: While Messi snubbed Mbappe by putting him second in his top three, former Real Madrid defender Pepe - teammate of Cristiano Ronaldo at international level - did not even include Messi in his top three. Nor did Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, whose choices raised eyebrows; the Egyptian selected Vinicius Junior as number one, followed by Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne and PSG's Achraf Hakimi in third.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGetty
WHAT NEXT? Despite the snubbing and the potential politics involved in any voting, both Messi and Mbappe seem to have a strong connection on the field at PSG and need to continue helping one another - alongside Neymar - to try and fire Les Parisiens to three straight Ligue 1 victories at the weekend.