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Lionel Messi wins record seventh FIFA best men’s player award

Lionel Messi wins record seventh FIFA best men’s player award

On Monday, Lionel Messi, the World Cup champion, won FIFA 2022 best men’s player award, beating out Kylian Mbappé once again.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Alexia Putellas won the best women’s player award for the second consecutive year. Messi won the award after leading Argentina to victory in the World Cup final against Mbappé’s France in Qatar. He received more votes than Mbappé and Karim Benzema, earning his seventh FIFA best player award in 14 years.

This achievement made him the first player, male or female, to win seven FIFA best player awards, surpassing Marta of Brazil, who had won six best women’s player awards.

At his fifth attempt, he finally succeeded in winning the World Cup and equaled a record.

“It was a crazy year for me,” Messi said. “I could fulfill my [World Cup] dream after fighting for it for so long. And in the end it happened, and it was the most beautiful thing of my career. It’s the dream of every player, but very few can achieve it, so I’m thankful to God for being able to do it.”

A global panel of national team captains and coaches, along with selected journalists in each of FIFA’s 211 member countries, as well as online fans, voted to select the final shortlist of three players.

Lionel Messi, who is 35 years old, won the Golden Ball trophy for the best player in the World Cup, beating out Kylian Mbappé, who was also vying for his first FIFA best player award.

Mbappé did, however, earn the Golden Boot as the top scorer. In the final FIFA Awards vote, Messi received 52 points, Mbappé had 44, and Benzema had 34.

Mbappé, who is 11 years younger than Messi at 24 and is often seen as Messi’s successor in the global football scene, was nominated for the first time and had come fourth in the 2018 vote, the year he helped lead France to World Cup victory.

In October, Real Madrid’s Benzema won the more prestigious Ballon d’Or award ahead of the World Cup, although he missed the tournament due to an injury.

In August, Messi was not included in the long list of Ballon d’Or candidates. For the last two years, Robert Lewandowski had won the FIFA award, while Cristiano Ronaldo did not make the 14-player shortlist for this year’s award, which was a first for him.

Messi achieved a new record by being named in the men’s world best XI for the 16th time, surpassing Ronaldo’s previous record.

The team included Thibaut Courtois from Belgium, Achraf Hakimi from Morocco, João Cancelo from Portugal, Virgil van Dijk from the Netherlands, Kevin de Bruyne from Belgium, Luka Modrić from Croatia, Casemiro from Brazil, Erling Haaland from Norway, as well as France’s Mbappé and Benzema.

Messi chose his longtime club teammate at Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar, as the best player in his vote. However, only Brazil’s captain Thiago Silva also voted for Neymar. Despite Russia’s national and club teams being banned from FIFA and UEFA competitions since February 2022 in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, their coach and captain were not barred from voting for the FIFA Awards.

Alexia Putellas received her award for best women’s player from Alex Morgan of the United States and Beth Mead, who led England to victory in the 2022 European Championship.

Despite being injured before the Euro and missing the tournament, Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas made it to the top three for the FIFA Women’s Player award again.

In the previous season, she scored 34 goals across all competitions. Beth Mead, who sustained a serious knee injury in November while playing for Arsenal, was the joint top scorer at the Euro and was named the tournament’s best player.

However, she might miss the Women’s World Cup in July due to the injury. Alex Morgan, who was second in the 2019 vote to her teammate Megan Rapinoe, was player of the tournament when the US won the CONCACAF W Championship last year and was also the joint top scorer.

Lionel Scaloni, the coach of Argentina, was voted as the FIFA men’s coach of the year after leading his team to the World Cup title in December. The women’s coach award went to Sarina Wiegman, who led England to victory at the Women’s European Championship.

When Scaloni took over Argentina on an interim basis at the end of 2018, he was widely criticized for his lack of experience as he had never coached a professional team before.

However, his contract as the national team coach was extended to the end of the 2026 World Cup earlier on the same day. The other coaches on the shortlist were Carlo Ancelotti from Real Madrid and Pep Guardiola from Manchester City.

Mary Earps of England, who helped her team win the Women’s European Championship, was named the women’s goalkeeper of the year, while Emiliano Martínez, who played a key role in Argentina’s World Cup victory, won the men’s goalkeeper award.

During the event in Paris, tributes were paid to Pelé, who passed away at the age of 82 in late 2021 after battling colon cancer. Ronaldo, a former Brazil striker, presented Pelé’s wife, Marcia Aoki, with a trophy in honor of the legendary footballer.

“I have three words to say to God, who gave us Edson; to Edson, who gave us Pelé; and to the world, who received them so well: Grateful, grateful and grateful,” she said.

Lionel Messi wins record seventh FIFA best men’s player award

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