- Lionel Messi is looking to break a new FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 record
- If the Argentinian ace is voted into the team of the year by his peers, he will reach a total of 17 career appearances
- His arrival to MLS in 2023 caused a revolution
If anyone wants to see how Lionel Messi’s appearance has evolved year by year from 2007 onwards, they can simply review the photos of every FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11.
Not only has Leo been in all of them, but he’s the only footballer on the planet to have received the award 16 times. And he can make it 17 if his fellow professionals think his performances were outstanding during the period 19 December 2022 to 20 August 2023 inclusive.
Three forwards will be chosen for the World 11, with the possibility of a fourth if the player in 11th place is also a striker. The World 11 is made up of the 10 players that lead the voting in their categories: one goalkeeper, three defenders, three midfielders and three attackers. The 11th is the outfield player with the most votes out of those that do not make it into the pre-established tactical formation.
The forward candidates along with Messi are Karim Benzema, Erling Haaland, Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Vinicius Jr.
Messi in 2023
After attaining the greatest dream of his life, becoming a FIFA World Cup champion, Messi returned to Paris Saint-Germain. There he scored nine goals and provided six assists in 19 games in Ligue 1, which the Parisians won. Only Mbappe scored more goals than Messi during that period.
The great disappointment of being prematurely eliminated in the Champions League was immediately followed by the immediate success he achieved at his new club Inter Miami.
Messi’s arrival to Major League Soccer initially sparked a media frenzy, but then, when he took the field, he caused a footballing revolution: a team that had been struggling in the bottom places in the league, far off the rest, ended up fighting right to the end for a place in the play-offs.
In the midst of this came the first title in the history of the franchise, the 2023 Leagues Cup. Messi’s contribution was crucial: seven matches played, 10 goals scored, one assist given.
Had it not been for an untimely injury, Messi might have won a second trophy, the US Open Cup. Without Leo on the pitch, Inter Miami lost 2-1 in the final. In the semis, two assists from the captain enabled the Florida club to pull back a 0-2 deficit and then win on penalties.
- Ballon d’Or 2023
- Laureus Award 2023
- Leagues Cup Best Player 2023
- Leagues Cup Top Scorer 2023
Messi in the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11
His 16 consecutive appearances in the team of the year, an all-time record, speak for themselves. Messi has not been absent since he was first elected in 2007, at just 20 years old, in a line-up that included Ronaldinho, Kaka, Didier Drogba, Fabio Cannavaro and Cristiano Ronaldo.
To give an even better idea of the scale of his omnipresence in the World 11, Messi accounts for 94.11 percent of the Argentine presence in the history of the team of the year, 30.76 percent of the election of Barcelona players and 13.33 percent of that of PSG.
“I simply came to the United States to play and carry on enjoying football, which is what I’ve loved all my life. And I chose this place above all for that reason, and today I can tell you that I’m very happy with the decision we made.”— by Lionel Messi
The football world talks about Messi
"Naturally, he’s a leader in footballing terms, but when he speaks he says the right words. And what he transmits to his team-mates is something I’ve never seen in anyone else, it’s incredible. I can describe it, but you would have to experience it. What he conveys... How his team-mates look at him, the admiration in their eyes."
Lionel Scaloni, Argentina manager
"Messi is the greatest player I’ve had the pleasure of watching. He’s given me immense joy for two decades. And he just does things that ordinary mortals can’t do."
Gary Lineker, ex-England international
"One of the reasons we bought him was also to inspire the next generation of soccer players in the United States to want to be football players. Messi has that power. Bringing him achieves that and is something important for us."
David Beckham, ex-England international and co-founder of Inter Miami
When will the 2023 FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 be known?
The 2023 FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 will be officially announced at The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023, for which the gala will be held in London, England on Monday 15 January 2024.
It will be made up of the 11 players — out of the 23 on the shortlist — who receive the most votes in their position.