There are songs that are part of the lives of different generations. They have no age, and you don’t understand how, but you know them because you’ve heard them here and there, in an advertisement or at a party. It happens with The Best of the best, Tina Turner. The late singer sang in this legendary song: “Oh, you are the best. Better than everything else. Better than anyone, anyone I’ve ever met. Oh, I’m stuck on your heart. I hang on every word you say. Oh, tear us apart? No no. Baby, I’d rather be dead. (Oh, you’re the best. Better than everyone, better than anyone. Everyone I’ve ever met. I’m trapped in your heart. And I hang on every word you say. Oh, break up? No, no. Baby, I’d rather be dead.) That’s the problem, right? Hold on to things, to those that were. Thinking that what is best today will be best tomorrow. This is where the risk of nostalgia lies, which is a double-edged sword. It keeps us anchored in the past, a past that we surely always thought was better. This nourishes us with the memory of the good, but it prevents us from enjoying the present and accepting the future. Nostalgia hurts us.
Few players have made so many people agree on the choice of a reward like Leo Messi. In fact, in the world of sports in general and football in particular, it is quite common to disagree on who is the best in a field, because this analysis is completely subjective and opinions cannot be fought. . The Argentine, by opinions and by facts, has won most of the awards he has opted for. The unanimity it aroused is typical of great legends, beyond colors or rivalries. We also need to be fair to the great myths of the sport and recognize that sometimes they are not the best.
Leo Messi is the best player my eyes have ever seen and, surely, the best I will ever see. That said, it is entirely compatible to think that the Argentine is the best player in history with accepting that he was not the best player of 2023. This is what FIFA rewarded with The Best award, for the best player of last year. Or rather, the six months of competition which extend from after the World Cup in Qatar until the summer are valued.
This award is decided by the votes of the captains and coaches of all the national teams of the FIFA-affiliated federations from the five continents who, in my opinion, chose their favorite player and not the best of 2023.
That Messi’s arrival in Miami was a revolution, no one disputes it, both on a footballing level and, above all, on a commercial level. But to promote football, we must understand the level of competition in MLS: still well below the European level.
To the surprise of many, the Argentine, who tied Haaland in number of votes, ended up winning the FIFA award based on the captains’ votes. A decision which seems to me born from homesickness, from the admiration they feel towards him, even from the euphoria of the World Cup, even if it does not count in the balance sheet, rather than from reality. It is also striking that none of the three candidates vying for the prize – Messi, Mbappé and Haaland – were present in London to collect it if they won. His absence somewhat hampers the gala and also the award ceremony.
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