By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Former Flying Eagles and U-23 Eagles goalkeeper Ambrose Vanzekin has tipped Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi to win the 2015 UEFA Player of the Year Award to be announced on August 27.
UEFA have released a three-man final shortlist for the prize which includes perennial rivals Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo as well as Luis Suarez.
Vanzekin who faced Messi twice in his international career, at the 2005 FIFA U20 Word Cup and the 2008 Olympics, tells Completesportsnigeria.com that the four-time winner of the World Player of the Year prize, Messi, who masterminded Nigeria’s defeat to Argentina at the finals of the U-20 and U-23 tournaments will clinch the award.
“In the period under review, Messi has done well and won the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona. He scored and still scores exceptional goals,” Olympics silver medallist Vanzekin told completesportsnigeria.com.
“He does things that are difficult to accomplish. I think for all he has done with Barcelona, he has the edge over other players.”
Vanzekin also spoke of his confrontations with Messi at the 2005 U-20 World Cup and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
“We lost twice to Argentina at the U-20 World Cup and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Well, he was a superb and is still a superb player. He led Argentina to the finals and on both occasions, we played them and lost.
“Perhaps in future, I will have a chance to face him again. I want my revenge against Messi and his team,’’ Vanzekin added.