Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is of the opinion that Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is 'from a different planet' as he assesses his sublime talents, but does not believe he was a worthy winner of the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year prize.
Wenger felt the full force of Messi's genius when the Barcelona
maestro blasted four goals past Arsenal in a Champions League
quarter-final back in 2010, but he is convinced there were more worthy
winners of the prize in a year when Barcelona failed to live up to their
own extraordinary standards.
When asked whether Messi
would have got his vote in the FIFA poll, Wenger was unequivocal in his
answer. "No, not this year," the Frenchman told the Arsenal website.
is from a different planet. He's certainly the best player in the
world, the best I've ever seen, but I believe that this year he has
really been rewarded for what he did individually, rather than what he
won for his team.
"For once he has not been in a team that
won absolutely everything. He did not win the Champions League, he did
not win the Spanish league and he didn't win anything with his country,
but individually it's true he had an exceptional year, scoring 91 goals.
believe he has been rewarded for that, but for me I'm more a fan of
collective sport, so I feel people like Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo
– who won the Spanish championship – and especially Andres Iniesta
deserved it more. Iniesta is always number two or three, but he won the
European Championship with Spain last year and he could have deserved it
"I am not a big fan of individual awards in
football to start with, but when it happens I think it should be the
consequence of a special team achievement as well. If you have been the
best player in a team that did something special, then yes, you should
win it. That's why my vote would have been for Iniesta."
went on to admit he has sympathy with Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, who
seems destined to remain in Messi's imposing shadow despite his own
glorious achievements in what has been a glittering career.