Steven Gerrard 'surprised and flattered' about Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool endorsement

Saturday, 28 Sep, 2019

The Argentine, who turns out for Spanish giants Barcelona, scooped the prestigious award at the Best FIFA Football Awards in Milan on Monday night, beating Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) and Dutch defender Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) to second and third place.

The Egyptian football association, Sudan's coach Zdravko Logarusic and Nicaragua's captain Juan Barrera have raised concerns over the authenticity of the ballots - citing uncounted or misallocated votes.

Egypt's national team handler Shawki Ghareeb and captain Ahmed El-Mohammadi were reportedly not mentioned in FIFA's publication of official votes. "We are asking the Nicaraguan Football Federations to inquire on this matter".

Lugarisic says his first choice was Egypt's Mohamed Salah but FIFA's voting document showed Messi as his first selection.

Valverde told reporters he took Messi off as a precaution and while Barca have not given details of the injury he suffered, a club statement confirmed it affected his left leg.

The Egyptian FA had also called the voting process into question after votes cast by them for their own player, Mo Salah, were not counted despite being submitted in advance of the deadline.

Messi, also a five-time Ballon D'Or victor, scored 54 times in 58 appearances en route to another La Liga title in Spain, but missed out on the Champions League, Spanish Copa Del Rey and Copa America titles, finishing runner-up in the first and third.

When asked about the quotes ahead of Rangers' game against Aberdeen on Saturday, Gerrard said: "I was surprised and flattered at the same time".

The German's position is exceptionally secure, though, after he led Liverpool to Champions League glory last term and subsequently collected The Best FIFA Men's Coach award this week.

NB: Excerpts of this article curled from Daily Mail.

In the voting breakdown that was released after the winners were announced, there was no room for Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in the former Bordeaux manager's top three.