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Messi is among the top three candidates for the 2022/23 UEFA Men's Player of the Year award.

Lionel Messi, a former forward for Paris, has been named as one of the three finalists for the prestigious 2022/23 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year accolade.

UEFA.com provides an analysis of the reasons behind his inclusion in the competition, alongside Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland.

The reason for his nomination

Despite Lionel Messi’s impressive performance for Paris Saint-Germain, where he secured his second Ligue 1 title, it was his notable achievements representing Argentina at the FIFA World Cup that garnered significant attention.

Lionel Messi, widely regarded as a prominent figure of his day, achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first Argentinean player to secure the World Cup title since the legendary Diego Maradona. Throughout the tournament, Messi showcased his exceptional skills by scoring a total of seven goals, so earning him the prestigious Golden Ball award for being the most outstanding player of the finals. In the month of March, he achieved the notable distinction of becoming the third player in recorded history to attain a total of 100 goals in international competitions.

In numbers, 2022/23

Achievements

Winners of the World Cup, the World Cup Golden Ball, and Ligue 1

The UEFA Champions League

Attendance: 7

Goals: 4

Assistance: 4

Player of the match: 1

Home League

Displays: 32

Goals: 16

Assistance: 16

The three most notable performances

Argentina defeats Australia 2-1

Lionel Messi successfully netted the initial goal and was bestowed with the title of the match’s most outstanding player during the round of 16 encounter in the FIFA World Cup. This marked his one-thousandth career appearance and one-hundredth appearance as the captain of his national team. Additionally, he achieved the distinction of being the South American player with the highest number of international appearances, surpassing Maradona’s record for the most participations in World Cup finals for Argentina, totaling 22.

France and Argentina tied, 3-3

The World Cup final was an exceptional event of great significance. The prominent player of the Argentine national team initiated the scoring by successfully converting a penalty kick, afterwards regaining the lead in the additional period. However, Kylian Mbappé’s impressive feat of scoring three goals resulted in the match being extended to a penalty shootout. Lionel Messi, undoubtedly, successfully executed his penalty kick during the shoot-out, resulting in Argentina’s culmination of a 36-year period of anticipation for another international championship.

Paris defeats Maccabi Haifa 7–2

Lionel Messi skillfully executed a curling shot to secure the first goal of the match, followed by a remarkable strike from the periphery of the penalty area, resulting in a 4-1 scoreline. This impressive achievement was Messi’s 129th goal in his illustrious Champions League career. In addition, the player contributed two assists to further enhance their performance.

Who emerged as the victor in the previous year?

Karim Benzema was bestowed with the prestigious title of the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for the 2021/22 season, following his triumphant victories in both the UEFA Champions League alongside Real Madrid and the UEFA Nations League representing France. The player’s total of 15 goals in the Champions League, with 10 of them scored in the knockout stages, placed him at the highest position in the competition’s scoring history. Additionally, his 27 goals in the Spanish Liga were the most achieved domestically.

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