Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain Lionel Messi has been named FIFA men’s player of the year while Spain’s Alexia Putellas, who won the Ballon d’Or last year, was named women’s player of the year.
Messi, 35, scored two goals in the World Cup 2022 final against France, with Argentina emerging triumphant on penalties.
“It’s amazing. It was a tremendous year, and it is an honour for me to be here tonight and win this award”, said Messi on Monday, who sat next to France forward and Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe throughout the ceremony at Paris’s Salle Pleyel.
Mbappe, also nominated for the highly anticipated award of the night, scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final. Still, his achievement was overshadowed as Messi finally won the most coveted trophy in world football.
“I want to express my thanks to [coach Lionel] Scaloni and my teammates. Without them, I would not be here,” Messi said at the Best FIFA Football Awards in Paris.
“I achieved a dream I had been hoping for so long, and finally, I achieved it. It’s a dream for any player, very few people can achieve that, and I was lucky enough to do so.”
Messi’s compatriots Scaloni and Emiliano Martinez won the coach of the year and keeper of the year awards, respectively, and their supporters even got the best fans’ prize.
England were rewarded for their victorious women’s Euro 2022 campaign.
Mary Earps was named keeper of the year, and England’s Dutch coach Sarina Wiegman received the accolade for best coach of a team with four players in the year’s World XI – Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze, Leah Williamson and Keira Walsh.
Polish amputee Marcin Oleksy won the Puskas prize for the best goal of the year for a spectacular acrobatic volley with Warta Poznan against Stal Rzeszow.
* The Best FIFA Women’s Player: Alexia Putellas (Spain/FC Barcelona Femení)
* The Best FIFA Men’s Player: Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain FC)
* The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper: Mary Earps (England/Manchester United WFC)
* The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martínez (Argentina/Aston Villa FC)
* The Best FIFA Women’s Coach: Sarina Wiegman (England Women’s National Team)
* The Best FIFA Men’s Coach: Lionel Scaloni (Argentina Men’s National Team)
* The FIFA Puskás Award: Marcin Oleksy (Poland/Warta Poznań)
* The FIFA Fair Play Award: Luka Lochoshvili (Georgia/Wolfsberger AC/US Cremonese)
* The FIFA Fan Award: Argentinian Fans