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Lionel Messi (left) has been voted as the best footballer of 2022, but arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo did not even make the top 50. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: After enjoying a great year where he won the Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain and the World Cup with Argentina, Lionel Messi has been voted the best footballer of 2022.

The 35-year-old scored goals and created assists for his team-mates in all but four league games last year and led his country in Qatar to glory for the first time since 1986.

But according to a list from the Guardian naming the 100 best male footballers in the world his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo did not even make the top 50.

The 37-year-old Portuguese superstar had a year to forget. He conducted an explosive interview with Piers Morgan after he was dropped by Manchester United coach Erik Ten Hag. It saw his United contract terminated but then he landed a record-breaking contract to play for Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League earlier this year.

51st spot

Subsequently, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo ranked in a lowly 51st spot. It is a huge gap between the two footballers regarded as the greatest in the game and it will come as a big surprise to many.

French pair Kylian Mbappe - who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final - and Karim Benzema completed the top three.

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland came fourth whilst his team-mate Kevin De Bruyne came sixth with Real Madrid star Luka Modric sandwiched in between them. Robert Lewandowski, Vinicius Jr, Thibaut Courtois and Mo Salah completed the top 10.

The Guardian’s Top 10 of 2022

1. Lionel Messi (Argentina-PSG)

2. Kylian Mbappé (France-PSG)

3. Karim Benzema (France-Real Madrid)

4. Erling Haaland (Norway-Manchester City)

5. Luka Modric (Croatia-Real Madrid)

6. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium-Manchester City)

7. Robert Lewandowski (Poland-Barcelona)

8. Vinicius Junior (Brazil- Real Madrid)

9. Thibaut Courtois (Belgium-Real Madrid)

10. Mohamed Salah (Egypt-Liverpool)