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Lionel Messi’s enduring luminous talent marks him out as The Best

It is easy to become a little inured but his achievements are astonishing – 54 goals, the European golden boot and Champions League top-scorer

Was it ever really in doubt? Lionel Messi is The Best: it’s official. On a night of pomp, power?play and deliciously terrible tuxedos Messi won his seventh major player of the year award in Milan on Monday, a first Fifa The Best gong to go with his five Ballons d’Or and one edition of the now defunct World Player of the Year.

Virgil van Dijk had been many people’s favourite to win the vote. Instead this was a case of Messi redux, a first such award since his 2015 Ballon d’Or. During which time Cristiano Ronaldo, his counterpart in the shared modern Goat?dom, has hoovered up four of these increasingly overblown prizes. But not so now as Ronaldo came third and was left doing his best to project a veneer of magnanimous approval while Messi took the silver cup.

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