Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was omitted from FIFA’s The Best list with Luka Modric eventually winning, but Spain coach Luis Enrique has revealed who the best in the world actually is.
Croatia, Luka Modric and even Ivan Rakitic were phenomenal during the FIFA World Cup with the Real Madrid man even going on to win the Golden Ball, the prize given to the best player at the quadrennial tournament. That combined with his performances for Real Madrid and the fact that the La Liga giants retained the Champions League trophy for the third year running, Luka Modric out-did Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohammed Salah to UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year award.
However, despite that many believe that Lionel Messi’s omission from the list was not fair to the Argentine who had a phenomenal season with Barcelona. While he did struggle alongside Argentina in the FIFA World Cup, during the normal club season, the 31-year-old was his usual brilliant self and crucial to Ernesto Valverde and Barcelona winning the La Liga trophy.
Even former Barcelona manager and current Spain coach, Luis Enrique had a lot to say about Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Lionel Messi and awards. “If I speak about Croatia, I have to speak about Modrić and [Ivan] Rakitić, above all,” Enrique went on to say. “Because either one of the two could receive any award. But if you have to give an award to the best in the world, I would give it to Leo Messi. Without a doubt. He’s a step ahead of every other player.”
Even with a wonderful season with Barcelona, many consider Lionel Messi to be an underdog this season for both the Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s The Best awards, with both Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the Barcelona number 10. While Modric had a brilliant season with both club and country, Ronaldo on the other hand also dominated for his former club.
A debate that has ruled the footballing world for the past decade or so, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the World football scene with Kaka the last man to beat them to an individual award. However, now after Luka Modric’s incredible season, there is a chance that the 33-year-old could do it this year.