Why was Lionel Messi absent at FIFA Best award ceremony?

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2024 were held in Hammersmith Apollo Hall in London to present the best football performances of the 22–23 calendar year with appreciation through awards. The ceremony saw many great football players and coaches, including Lionel Messi, being nominated for the awards going to be presented in it.

However, despite being nominated for FIFA’s Best Men’s Footballer of the Year for the last calendar year, Lionel Messi opted not to travel to London for the magnificent ceremony.

Why was Lionel Messi absent from the event?

Lionel Messi was awarded FIFA’s Best Men’s Player Award for the third time and second in a row for his outstanding performance in the calendar year 22–23. The Argentinian and former Barcelona man was named FIFA’s Best Men’s Award winner after finishing at the top of the three-man shortlist that also featured Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe. He was on a tie-breaker with Erling Haaland of Manchester City but got over him due to more National Team captains’ votes. He was voted by some of the best captains around, like Luka Modric, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, and others.

But in spite of all of that build-up, Lionel Messi opted out of coming to London to receive the award himself. According to Guillem Balague, the 36-year-old Argentine was absent due to not wanting to break his pre-season training with Inter Miami as he prepares for his first full season.

Lionel Messi joined Inter Miami in a surprising free transfer move on July 15th last year and was reunited with former Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. Since then he has already guided Inter Miami to their first ever trophy by winning Leagues Cup just six months into his contract. It just provided a small picture of what to expect from Messi and co. in the upcoming season and the arrival of his another former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez just fuels the excitement around the team.

Who accepted Messi’s FIFA Best Player award on his behalf?

Since the 36-year-old Argentinian was not in London to collect his award, another of his former Barcelona teammates, Thierry Henry, accepted it on his behalf.

Being a humorist as always, Thierry Henry took that opportunity to make a joke at his own expense and another on Tottenham Hotspur for never winning a trophy. He joked around with Tottenham fan Reshmin Chowdhary about Tottenham’s lack of silverware in recent years as he denied permission for her to hold it.

The former Barcelona player and Arsenal legend said, “Unfortunately the winner is not here, so someone is going to have to take the trophy. I will take it. I mean I came. I actually have two reasons for taking it. I never won it, so I’ll keep it.

“And you are a Tottenham fan right? You usually don’t get your hands on a trophy, so I’ll take this one. Thank you very much.”

Lionel Messi missed the award ceremony for the preparation of the new season in MLS with his other former Barcelona teammates. In addition to that, the arrival of Luis Suarez also ignites the connection between them again.

Can Messi and Co. rebuild that connection in Inter Miami and reach new boundaries? Comment your opinion below.


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