Rohr: why I snubbed Lionel Messi

Gernot Rohr

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has sensationally revealed why he snubbed eventual winner Argentine Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi for the 2019 Best FIFA Men’s Player award.

Incidentally, only one of Rohr’s choices in the shape of Dutch and Liverpool’s ace defender, Van Dijk Virgil, made the final shortlist of three players along with Messi and Ronaldo; while his other two choices Mbappé Kylian and Hazard Eden were overlooked.

But the German coach has shed light on his preferences, arguing he didn’t see any player better than Mbappe in the year under review after the youngster helped PSG finished the season as Ligue 1 champions while also finishing the season as the top goal scorer with 33 goals.

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“Yes, I was impressed (with The Best FIFA Awards Gala in Milan),” the 66-year-old Rohr told NationSport. “But for me, Mbappe was the best one.”

Speaking further, Rohr who was a defender in his heyday with Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga said he was enthralled with the defensive qualities of Liverpool’s Virgil.

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“Of course, Van Dijk is a fantastic defender and (I picked) Hazard for a great season,” he noted.

Meanwhile, 2019 Best FIFA Men’s Player award winner, Messi has enthused that his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo does not extend beyond the pitch when pressed by FIFA’s website on his recent camaraderie with the Portuguese international.

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“People perhaps think the rivalry goes beyond football, but it doesn’t,” noted Messi after winning his record title as world’s best player. “We both want what’s best for our teams and neither of us like losing; it’s something we don’t accept.

“That’s why there’s that competitiveness between us. The important thing is that it stays there, out on the pitch,” the Argentine said.

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