The Mystery of Messi’s Absence: Understanding Why Lionel Messi Did Not Attend FIFA’s Best Awards Ceremony, Despite Winning Top Prize, with None of the Men’s Top Three Present in London.

Lionel Messi did not attend FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony in London on Monday in favour of staying in America to train with Inter Miami, according to reports.

The Argentinian was named FIFA’s Best men’s award winner after finishing top of the three-man shortlist that also featured Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.

However, Messi failed to appear when his name was read out to confirm he was the recipient of the title and it was later revealed he had stayed home in America. Neither Mbappe or Haaland were present either.


Messi left a career in European football last year after departing Paris Saint-Germain at the end of his contract and agreed to the MLS as the American league’s new star player.

Now it has been revealed that the 36-year-old made the decision not to travel because the distance involved in travelling to London would have result in nearly a week of pre-season training being missed.

Lionel Messi did not attend FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony in London on Monday in favour of staying in America to train with Inter Miami.

Messi has continued to lift numerous individual accolades since winning the World Cup in 2022.

The decision was revealed by Spanish journalist Guillem Balague who posted an online update that read: ‘Reason of Messi absence in London.

‘Messi has started training for Inter Miami and travelling to London would have meant 3/4 days lost.

‘He has to adjust to his new football calendar. He had some physical problems second half of the year and he wants to do a proper preseason…’.

The Argentinian only won the individual honour after initially tying with Man City’s Haaland on votes made by other national team captains and coaches.

Thierry Henry was left to claim Messi’s Best award in the Argentinian’s absence.

Messi is reportedly keen to get a full pre-season training campaign in with Inter Miami.

Both had received 48 scoring points in the final votes with Messi then surging ahead when the tiebreaker was decided by the most ‘five-point scores’ handed out by national team captains.

The pair had already been named in FIFPro’s World XI team alongside one another earlier in the evening.

Most sports stars send a pre-recorded video if they are unable to attend an event, but there was no such message from Messi as he remained across the Atlantic.

Arsenal and France legend Thierry Henry was left to pick up the award in Messi’s absence and did so with humour as he joked about having never won the individual title.

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