On Monday night, Lionel Messi's superior 2022 to Cristiano Ronaldo was cemented at the FIFA Best Awards in Paris. While the World Cup winner was the headline star of the annual FIFPro World XI, Ronaldo was snubbed from a four-player attack, ending a sensational run of inclusion.
Messi was named FIFA Best Men's Player for the seventh time in the French capital after a sensational 2022.
The prestigious awards add to his seven Ballons d'Or after a year that cemented his legacy as millions of fans' greatest player of all time.
Messi registered 17 goals and 18 assists in 41 games and won the World Cup, Finalissima, Ligue 1 and the Trophee des Champions.
While the Argentine forward led his nation to glory in Qatar, winning the Golden Ball, Ronaldo's Manchester United career crashed and burned, resulting in the termination of his contract in November.
And he wasn't among the 11 Players featured in FIFPro's 2022 World XI, despite FIFA selecting four attackers in a 3-3-4 formation.
It was a telling indicator that, though he has enjoyed a successful start to life at Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, he is no longer among the game's elite after a stellar career.
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Despite his exit from the European football scene, Ronaldo is enjoying life in Saudi Arabia after signing a blockbuster two-and-a-half-year deal at Al-Nassr.
The 38-year-old striker has scored 10 goals in his first seven games, including a race against Messi and PSG and two hat-tricks in his last three outings.
Whether Ronaldo plans to retire in the Middle East remains to be seen, but he has previously suggested he wants to play until he is 40.
He could be eyeing Euro 2024 in Germany as his final international tournament with Portugal.
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