‘Messi is not among the top three’ – Kroos opposes FIFA Best Barca star

The striker finished third at this year’s ceremony, despite 2020 marked by a marked shortage of silverware

Lionel Messi’s achievements on the field for Barcelona and Argentina did not justify his inclusion in the last three for the best FIFA award for men this year, according to Felix Kroos.

Messi, who broke Pele’s record for most goals in a single club career this week, with his 644th goal, finished third in the 2020 ceremony earlier this month.

The 33-year-old took the bronze medal behind Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski and renowned rival Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus, who finished first and second respectively.

However, in the calendar year in which Messi struggled to repeat his personal successes, as well as to appear empty-handed in the hunt for silverware, his involvement raised eyebrows in certain neighborhoods.

Now Kroos – the younger brother of Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Tony – is of the opinion that the Blaugrana veteran did not deserve his place ahead of other candidates such as Liverpool’s Sadi Mane and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.

“Lewandowski absolutely deserves it,” said the 29-year-old, who plays for German second division side Eintracht Braunschweig, to his older brother. Just a little pounding podcast. “But for me, Messi is not in the top three, because I don’t think he did well this year.”

Both Kroos brothers also weighed in on the award for FIFA’s best men’s coach, which Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp won over Bayern’s supremo Hansi Flick, despite the pair finishing on points.

The Rong manager was handed the gong due to a higher share of national team coaches, expelling the former German assistant, while Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa finished an unexpected third.

While Klopp led Liverpool to their first Premier League triumph, Flick – who was selected for months in a campaign to replace Nike Kovac – completed a continental high tone, before adding the Super Cup to his squad at the start of the current season.

“Obviously they are both great coaches, based on the success they have both achieved,” Toni added. “[But] Hansi Flick is one of the sports personalities of 2020.

“He didn’t just turn his team into three-time winners, they beat most of the teams they played for. They hardly ever scored less than four goals per game.”