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FIFA 23 acts like Messi is the poster boy – not Mbappé

FIFA 23 has released the final eleven for its Team of the Year (TOTY), and Lionel Messi was given the highest score.

This means of all the incredible players that made the TOTY, Messi is the best. 


People forget that Mbappé is the real cover star.Credit: EA Sports

With his score of 98, he overshadows players with the same base rating, including Kevin De Bruyne, Karim Benzema, Robert Lewandowski and of course cover star Kylian Mbappé.

That’s not to say that Messi hasn’t had an incredible year. He helped Argentina win the World Cup, something the country hasn’t achieved since the days of Maradona.

Messi has won a shocking seven Ballon d’Ors, and has been in the top three a further six times.

His club Paris Saint-Germain seems set to win the Champions League this year, which would surely secure his eighth win.

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But FIFA 23 looked like it was taking a step back from Messi. Benzema was classed as the best player, and Mbappé was the well-deserved runner-up.

After his long domination of the game, a number of players were placed up there right alongside him.

There were even arguments that Benzema should be pushed higher given his Ballon d’Or, Champions League, and La Liga wins.

Now the TOTY has come, opinions have changed. Benzema, Mbappé, and De Bruyne were all given an impressive 97 rating, but Messi is just that bit better.

Fellow 91er, Lewandowski didn’t even make TOTY, he’s not available to vote for 12th Man either.

While Messi had a phenomenal World Cup, Mbappé had arguably a better one.

Argentina may have proved to be the better overall team, but Mbappé scored that incredible finals hat trick, winning him the Golden Boot.

What feels more egregious than Messi being considered better than the rest, is that Mbappé isn’t.

He’s the cover star, had an incredible season, and apparently on the same level as many others.

Nevertheless, this is likely the last year we’ll be discussing Messi as he is in the final years of his career while Mbappé is just beginning. 

For now we can think of Messi as the best player of the year, but it won’t be for much longer.

Written by Paolo Sirio and Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.

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