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Cristiano Ronaldo lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk make up the watch for the Men’s Player award in the Fifa Football Awards on Monday – but who ought to win it?
Do you distinguish between three good players, each having a list of accolades?
We’ve asked Italian soccer pro Mina Rzouki football author Andy West and BBC Sport’s chief football writer Phil McNulty to make their case for each of the candidates.
So who do you agree with? Take our vote and choose your winner. Highlights of these Fifa Football Awards are on BBC One in 23:05 BST on Monday.
Spanish football writer Andy West:
Understanding that Lionel Messi is the best player on the planet comes with just one condition: using them to watch soccer , and using eyes.
If you really watch him – and you’re being vaguely goal – you may observe that Messi will be head and shoulders above everyone else. The ability difference is not even close.
Watch himand the goals will be seen by you. You will observe the dribbles. The supernatural defence-splitting moves, the initial signature that is faultless, the spatial consciousness, the ability to escape the match consciousness, a number of markers. Those items will be seen by you, and you will be forced to acknowledge: Messi is the very ideal. Up to now.
Possibly the stats will provide help if you don’t trust your eyes to reach that decision. You most likely already understand that Messi scored more league goals than anybody else in Europe at 2018-19 (36, before Kylian Mbappe’s 33). However, Messi’s all-round magnificence is reflected in the fact that he was also one of Europe’s top actors in assists (fifth), chances created in play (third), dribbles completed (fourth), moves into the last third (second) and shots contrary to the fort (first). He is winger, playmaker and a striker all rolled into one.
Those exploits led to silverware using Messi inspiring Barcelona to a team title, finishing 11 points before Atletico Madrid.
He also excelled at the Champions League, easily topping the competition’s scoring graphs (12). And until you throw Anfield in his head, note that Messi made more chances and had more shots on target than any other participant in that dramatic second leg (like Liverpool gamers ). It is hardly his fault his team-mates forgot shield or to complete.
Messi’s difficulty, and the sole reason why the’deserving’ winner of awards like this is discussed, is that we take him.
As soon as we visit – to mention a game that the larger-than-normal variety of UK-based fans will have seen – the unbelievable performance he made at Wembley past October to ruin a helpless Tottenham defence, we shrug our shoulders and say:“Well, that’s Messi.“ If that level was reached by another participant once, we would be in raptures. Together with Messi, it’s normal.
However, the simple fact that he delivers displays of such mind-boggling brilliance 25 or 30 times every season should not be brushed aside. We ought to love him while we can, and revel in his splendour that is unmatched rather than reason that it’s somebody else’s turn. There is no other. The best is Messi.
And if you’re still unsure, take a look of an informed opinion in the guy who played against him last year:“Messi remains the best player in the world and I believe he deserves it [the award] provided he’s playing.“
Whose words are they? None other than Virgil van Dijk’s.
The major contender for the award thinks Messi should win it.
Italian football pro Mina Rzouki:
Let us be fair, Ronaldo didn’t outscore Lionel Messi nor did he help Juventus win the Champions League last season as Virgil van Dijk. Three players outscored the Portuguese Icon in Serie A and also for the very first time under Massimiliano Allegri’s tutelage, Juventus didn’t win the Coppa Italia.
So why should Ronaldo win the Fifa player of the year?
While his critics have a lot to point to if calculating why Ronaldo might not have lived up to the very high expectations that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has set for himself, it should also be mentioned just how much a difference he left when playing to his country and brand new club.
Contrary to Van Dijk and Messi, Ronaldo decided a fresh challenge, playing a brand new league with and a fresh system. Under a coach’s guidance, Ronaldo was tasked with proving worth – and that he did just that. He was named as the most valuable player in the league, so assisting Juventus to not just win the Supercoppa but also the Scudetto, also, by being the club’s leading scorer and their inspiration.
Many could boast similar numbers when changing clubs and leagues?
This was Ronaldo who scored in the Supercoppa final against Milan to secure the win, Ronaldo who sealed the incredible comeback win against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League and Ronaldo who rallied the troops to protect vital points against the likes of Napoli and Inter, Juve’s challengers for the title.
As for Portugal, manager Fernando Santos confessed to working out of adjectives in regards to describing the player, settling on and labelling him as’a footballing genius’.
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick contrary to Switzerland to fasten the presence in the inaugural Nations League’s final of Portugal, while the nation’s ultimate win against the Netherlands was the participant’s 30th name in football.
For both nation and clubRonaldo has really made the difference, winning every final he played with last season. He’s the player his team-mates have looked to, not only to inspire them but also to motivate them.
BBC chief football writer Phil McNulty:
The finest work of virgil van Dijk might not be too eye-catching or magnificent as Cristiano Ronaldo’s or even Lionel Messi’s – unless you’ve observed Liverpool on a regular basis for the last 12 months.
Van Dijk’s peerless which makes him the best in the whole world in his own place, stretches back into almost the moment he arrived in Liverpool from Southampton for #75m at January 2018.
He immediately transformed a previously vulnerable Liverpool defence to the extent they reached the Champions League Final at the conclusion of that season, although even he was powerless to treat the flaws of hapless goalkeeper Loris Karius which played a important role in their 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid at Kiev.
Throw his profession ahead and we have a player being ranked alongside the fundamental defenders Liverpool have ever had – the likes of Alan Hansen – and who’s simply irreplaceable in the strategies of director Jurgen Klopp.
And we also carry a player whose existence, calmness, direction – along with the occasional goal for example if he scored a vital header at the Champions League final 16 second-leg win against Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena last season – allowed Liverpool to compensate for that bitter disappointment against Real Madrid by claiming European club football’s biggest prize for the sixth time against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid in June.
Van Dijk’s level consistency is such that if Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe got the best of him at a single joust at Liverpool’s 3-1 win at Anfield on 24 Augustit had been the first-time anybody had dribbled past him in a 50-match sequence stretching back to March 2018.
It’s a Magazine and testimony to how great Van Dijk is and why I think he’ll be a worthy recipient of the Fifa Award.
There was an air of incredulity if he made the very first error of critical consequence anyone could remember with optimism when his loose backpass enabled Fernando Llorente to seal Napoli’s 2-0 triumph against Liverpool in their Champions League group game.
Yes, Messi and Ronaldo have continued unbelievable longevity and amounts of greatness that we might not witness again for a generation, but in the last 12 months the transformative effect of Van Dijk on Liverpool means nobody should whine if he is the winner.
Van Dijk is magnificent in the atmosphere, has the capacity to overpower attackers along with his physical presence, comes with a finely-honed sense of threat and his assortment of long and short passing gives Liverpool an additional dimension for their own offensive game.
Quite simply he’s the defender. He has played a role in earning Liverpool the team that they are.
He is the central plank at a group that has won the Champions League, is playing a part in Ronald Koeman’s rival of the Netherlands national side, and is coveted by every club on the planet.
Van Dijk, in my opinion, should win this prestigious award.
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Who should win the award of the men ?
This vote will close at 18:00 BST on 23 September. You may vote only once.
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