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Lionel Messi voted for Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema as best players of 2021

Lionel Messi voted for Neymar, Mbappe, Benzema as best players of 2021
© Reuters
Argentina captain Lionel Messi chose Paris Saint-Germain teammates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as his top two choices for The Best FIFA Men's Player, with Karim Benzema third.

Lionel Messi voted for his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar as The Best FIFA Men's Player of 2021.

The Argentine, who made the final three for the award but ultimately missed out to Robert Lewandowski, reunited with former Barcelona teammate Neymar at the Parc des Princes following his summer exit from Camp Nou.

Messi is afforded a vote in the awards due to his position as Argentina captain, and he selected Neymar as his first choice, which is worth five points to the overall standings.

Neymar made 33 appearances for PSG over the course of 2021, scoring 11 goals and creating nine more - figures far below those posted by the likes of Lewandowski and fellow finalist Mohamed Salah.

However, the world's most expensive footballer did also help Brazil to the final of the Copa America, scoring six goals and assisting nine more in just 13 appearances for his country throughout the calendar year.

Messi voted for another of his teammates, Kylian Mbappe, in second place for the award, while his third choice was Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, despite his Barcelona loyalties.

The 34-year-old also selected Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni as his coach of the year, followed by Italy boss Roberto Mancini and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, ignoring current club boss Mauricio Pochettino.

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