Lionel Messi overtakes Cristiano Ronaldo as he wins World Soccer Player of the Year Award for a record 6th time 

Lionel Messi is named World Soccer
Lionel Messi is named World Soccer's Player of the Year.

Lionel Messi has overtaken longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo after being named World Soccer Player of the Year. The Argentine icon has won the award six times to the Portuguese legend's five.

The 35-year-old enjoyed a remarkable year, lifting the FIFA World Cup for the first time with Argentina, and was handed the Golden Ball during the tournament. He scored seven goals and provided three assists in seven games. The PSG attacker also won the Ligue 1 title and has already bagged 13 goals and 14 assists in 21 appearances this season.

World Soccer's Jamie Evans explained the decision to name Lionel Messi as the magazine's Player of the Year ahead of the 2022 Ballon d'Or, UEFA Champions League and La Liga title winner Karim Benzema:

"While the Champions League may legitimately claim to be the highest competitive level of modern football, the World Cup remains the pinnacle of the sport, where legends are written and legacies are defined."

He continued:

"Messi's name will, hereafter, be forever associated with the year 2022 - just as Pele is with 1970, Maradona with 1986 and Zinedine Zidane with 1998."
🚨 Lionel Messi has been named World Soccer Player of the Year for a record SIXTH time!6️⃣ 🇦🇷 Lionel Messi 🔥🆕🔥5⃣ 🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo3⃣ 🇧🇷 Ronaldo2️⃣ 🇵🇱 Lewandowski2⃣ 🇧🇷 RonaldinhoAnother record for the 35 year old 🤯

In being named World Soccer's Player of the Year, Lionel Messi has beaten Cristiano Ronaldo to a record number of wins. The Portuguese forward sits on five.

He endured a difficult end to the year in which he was handed a bit-part role at his former club Manchester United. He scored just three goals and provided two assists in 16 games for the Red Devils. The 37-year-old struggled at the World Cup too, scoring just one goal in five games.

Jurgen Klopp is adamant Lionel Messi is the greatest player of all time ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo

Jurgen Klopp sides with the Argentine in the long-running debate.
Jurgen Klopp sides with the Argentine in the long-running debate.

Liverpool boss Klopp has stuck to his guns over Lionel Messi being the greatest player in history ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo. The German coach said when reacting to Argentina winning the FIFA World Cup (via the Mirror):

"The greatest footballer in my lifetime, Lionel Messi, the way he plays football in this age should give us all a hint at how long footballers can perform at the top level. We shouldn’t close the books too early. It was a joy to watch him."

Klopp had previously been asked for his opinion in the debate over Messi and Ronaldo. He told YouTube channel freekickerz in 2020:

"For me Messi, but I couldn't admire Ronaldo more than I do already."
🗣️ Jürgen Klopp: “Lionel Messi is probably the best player I have seen in my life.”

The legendary duo are now playing their football on different continents, but their rivalry is unlikely to ever end. Cristiano Ronaldo did get one over the Argentine this past week by scoring a double in a friendly between PSG and Riyadh Season Team. Messi was on the scoresheet just once.

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Edited by Matthew Guyett
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