Messi named World Best Player of 2022 by IFFHS; gets hero’s welcome on return at PSG

Xtra Time Web Desk: FIFA World Cup winning Argentina captain Lionel Messi added another feather to his cap as he was named Men’s World Best Player 2022 by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

Messi pipped Paris Saint Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe for the award, topping the rankings with 275 points. Karim Benzema of France was the third in list followed by Luka Modric and Erling Haaland.

It’s fair to say that 2022 will be a year forever associated with Messi’s name thanks to his World Cup glory in Qatar. However, he was in excellent form all year for club and country as well.

In 51 official games for Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina, Messi scored 35 goals and laid on 30 assists. He helped PSG lift the Ligue 1 title. The talisman scored seven goals in seven matches to guide Argentina win their third World Cup.

The World Cup was the crowning moment not just in Messi’s year but his career. It was the one major trophy that had evaded him, having won the Copa America in 2021.

Meanwhile, the seven-time Ballon D’Or winner was given a hero’s welcome from his club teammates upon his return to training. He will play his first match on return at Parc des Princes against Angers on January 11.