Lionel Messi news: Barcelona captain named ESPY Best International Men's Football Player
What's the story?
Barcelona and Argentina captain Lionel Messi has been named the ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Best International Men's Football Player for his individual and collective exploits in the last year.
In case you didn't know
The ESPY award is a prize presented by the American broadcast television network ABC. It was previously awarded by ESPN in recognition of individual and team achievement as well as performance in the previous calendar year.
The winners were voted for by fans, sportswriters, broadcasters, sports executives, and sportspersons. Thereafter, the winners will be selected through an online balloting conducted among players selected by the ESPY Select Nominating Committee.
The 2019 edition of the annual award ceremony was held on Wednesday in Los Angeles, USA.
The heart of the matter
Messi beat the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Virgil van Dijk to the Best Men's Football Player of the Year award for his outstanding exploits in the last ye.
The 32-year-old has enjoyed a scintillating individual campaign, having netted a staggering 51 goals in all competitions for the Catalan giants. 36 of those goals came in La Liga and helped him to the Pichichi trophy and the European Golden Shoe. The Argentine also boasts of being the top-scorer in the 2018-19 edition of the Champions League.
The five-time Ballon d'Or recipient led Barcelona to a consecutive La Liga title but failed to do the same in Europe, where they crashed out of the Champions League despite being overwhelming favorites to lift the continental trophy. The Blaugrana further failed to retain the Copa del Rey title after a shock defeat to Valencia.
Internationally, Messi ended his Copa America campaign on a bitter note as Argentina finished in third place amid intense controversy.
It remains to be seen if Messi will feature in the squad for Barcelona's club friendly against Chelsea on July 23.