5th September, 2018
Even after he inspired Barcelona to a domestic double of LaLiga and the Copa del Rey in the 017-18 season, Lionel Messi was overlooked for the final three-man list for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award in favour of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah.
But as far as Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis is concerned, Lionel Messi is the best footballer in the world despite his omission from the shortlist.
While Antoine Griezmann claimed it was “bizarre” a FIFA award will not recognise any of France’s World Cup-winning stars, his Atletico team-mate thinks it is ignoring Messi that completely ruins the credibility of the prize.
“The award is for the best player in the world. For me, today, it’s Messi. Just like in previous years,”
“When he’s not there, it loses credibility. It doesn’t matter who wins the World Cup or the Champions League. He’s the best.” Filipe told Globoesporte.
Filipe Luis was expected to move to Paris Saint-Germain during the transfer window, but the move did not materialize. He has now criticised Atletico for painting him as the villain of a transfer wrangle, insisting he was happy to accept their decision not to sell him.
This is what he had to say on the issue:
“The opportunity to go to PSG came up and I mentioned it to Atletico. I asked them to let me go, in the same way they did with Gabi [who joined Al Sadd],”
“The club understood it wasn’t the same situation, despite the similarities with the remaining time on our contracts.
“They said I insisted, but it’s a lie. I have a history with Atletico and that makes me sad, because they tried to worsen my image.”