Lionel Messi was just named as the FiFA world player of the year. The awards were based on the votes of the coaches and captains of national teams as well as global journalists.
Messi scored more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues in 2010, with 42 goals in 36 La Liga games, as well as finishing top scorer in the Champions League in 2010 with 12 goals in 12 games. He totaled 60 goals for the year for club and country.
To be honest, I didn’t realize he had scored 42 goals in 36 La Liga games. And quite frankly, that is an astonishing goal scoring record. I can’t think offhand of any other player in modern times who has scored at more than a goal per game in one of the world’s top leagues.
Just a quick comparison with Wayne Rooney’s great 2009/10 season shows how good Messi was last year. In the 2009/10 season, Rooney was incredible…at least he was for the first 2/3 of the season. During that season Rooney had by far the best goals tally of his career so far with 26 goals in 32 EPL games. So Messi’s 42 goals in just 36 La Liga games is at another level and almost beyond belief.
And this brings up another question. Is Messi really the world’s best player? I have a simple way of answering this question. I don’t bother with what position the player plays or how he performed last season or any of those criteria. I simply base it on picking the best team in the world and who would be my first pick, bearing in mind that someone else will have the next pick for his team.
In the past that pick has been players like Theirry Henry, Wayne Rooney, Steve Gerrard. But today I don’t know if one particular player stands out to me.
So let me put the question out there. If you were up against someone else and had the first pick to put together the best team you could, who would you pick and why?