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Lionel Messi's choices for the best player in the world in 2019 — and where they are now

  • Lionel Messi named five players who he thinks are the best in the world in 2019
  • Messi named the likes of Mbappé and Neymar as part of his five choices
Sai Teja
ANALYST
News
Modified 14 May 2020, 20:20 IST

Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez in action for Barcelona
Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez in action for Barcelona

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will forever be remembered as two of the best players to have graced the sport. The Argentine and Portuguese have established over a decade of dominance on the beautiful game and have won a combined total of 11 Ballons d'Or between them — six for Lionel Messi and five for his rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

Their dominance is such that football watchers have often debated who the best players in the world are excluding these two superstars of the sport.

In 2019, Lionel Messi was asked to weigh in on this matter and reveal who he thinks are the best players in the world except for himself and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Speaking to Marca, the Barcelona captain began with a remark on the former Real Madrid forward, saying,

"It was nice to have Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga because of the prestige he gave it, although it was hard to see him lift titles."

Messi continued,

"Excluding him and me, the best players in the world are [Kylian] Mbappé, Neymar, [Eden] Hazard, [Luis] Suárez and Kun [Sergio Agüero]."

The best players in the world according to Lionel Messi

Eden Hazard and Kylian Mbappé
Eden Hazard and Kylian Mbappé

Some of these players have had the privilege of sharing a pitch with Lionel Messi either for club or country.

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It is hardly surprising that Kylian Mbappé was a name mentioned by Lionel Messi as the Frenchman is widely tipped to be the player to claim his throne upon the Argentine's eventual retirement.

Mbappé was also one of the major reasons for Argentina's elimination from the 2018 World Cup as his two whirlwind goals gave France the advantage in their knockout tie. The seven-goal thriller ended 4-3 in Les Bleus' favour, and they eventually went on to win the tournament. 

Constantly linked with La Liga rivals Real Madrid with a big-money move, the French prodigy is widely expected to move to the Santiago Bernabéu.

The capital club have already completed the signing of long-term target Eden Hazard last summer for an initial fee of €100m. After a phenomenal season with Chelsea in 2018/19, Hazard has struggled to settle into life in Madrid after an injury-stricken season.

Neymar and Suárez
Neymar and Suárez

The Belgian captain has often been compared to Lionel Messi in terms of their similar style of dribbling, and Real Madrid will undoubtedly benefit from having a player as creative as Hazard among their ranks. The former Chelsea forward will be hoping for the season to resume in the hope of revitalizing his season at the Bernabéu.

Neymar and Luis Suárez are, once again, two unsurprising picks from Lionel Messi as he along with the two South Americans went on to achieve a breathtaking treble back in 2015. Suárez is still at the club while Neymar was lured to Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222m deal. The 'MSN' trio combined to dominate all of Spain and Europe in 2015 prior to Neymar's departure.

Sergio Agüero played with Lionel Messi for Argentina and has been one of the most successful strikers in the Premier League. The Argentine is currently the highest-scoring foreigner in the English top-flight. Lionel Messi and Agüero have combined well for La Albiceleste.

The Manchester City striker completed this list of players that Lionel Messi revealed to be the best players in the world in his opinion.


Published 14 May 2020, 20:20 IST
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