Lionel Messi has been selected as the FIFA Player of the Year once again. Although this time, there is a controversy about the Argentine forward receiving this award. After winning the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, Messi, who won last year’s FIFA Best of the Year award, did not win anything big in 2023! Messi himself did not go to the awards ceremony yesterday in London, this time he was not interested in the awards.
Be that as it may, while Messi has been named FIFA’s Player of the Year for the eighth time, his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo is in the discussion for a different reason. Even though he scored goals after goals in the league of Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo did not make it to FIFA’s eleven of the year, and then Ronaldo came to the discussion, when football fans saw the list of Portugal captain’s votes.
Kepler Ferreira, better known as Pepe, was voted Portugal’s captain, not Ronaldo.
Of course, this is nothing new, even last year, right after the World Cup, when it came time to vote for the FIFA Player of the Year, Ronaldo did not vote. FIFA then announced that Pepe has taken the responsibility of voting as the captain of Portugal instead of Ronaldo. Ronaldo did not vote this time, but he is still the captain of Portugal!
In the case of last year’s vote, however, many people put forward an explanation. That’s because Ronaldo was on the bench for a couple of matches towards the end of the World Cup, while Pepe played from the start of the match. Ronaldo was no longer voted ‘captain’ for Portugal, who were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
But after becoming the coach of Portugal, Roberto Martinez kept Ronaldo as the captain, Ronaldo told Martinez that he wants to play 250 matches in Portugal’s jersey. A few days ago, former Arsenal star Freddie Leunberry’s podcast said that Martinez. However, this time it is not Ronaldo, but Pepe who has taken the responsibility.
However, just as Ronaldo never voted for Messi, or Messi never voted for Ronaldo as the best, Pepe has maintained that trend. Messi did not get Portugal’s vote like last time. Despite winning the World Cup last time, Pepe did not place Messi in the top three, voting for Mbappe, Modric and Benzema respectively. And this time, his first choice in three votes was Bernardo Silva, second was Arling Holland and third was Victor Osimen.