Messi wins FIFA’s best men’s player award again

Paris –

World Cup champion Lionel Messi defeated Kylian Mbappe again to win FIFA’s Best Male Player award on Monday.

Spain’s Alexia Puteras won the Women’s Player of the Year award for the second year in a row.

After leading Argentina to World Cup glory in Mbappe’s epic final against France in Qatar last year, Messi won the best player votes against Mbappe and Karim Benzema to win his seventh FIFA award in 14 years. obtained.

He won the World Cup in his record-matching fifth attempt.

“It’s been a crazy year for me,” Messi said. “I was able to fulfill a dream that I had been fighting for a long time. And finally it came true and it was the most beautiful thing in my career. I thank God that I was able to do it because few people can achieve it.”

The three players were shortlisted for voting by a global panel of national team captains and coaches, selected journalists from each of FIFA’s 211 member countries, and fans online.

The 35-year-old Messi defeated Mbappe, who was seeking his first FIFA best player award, to win FIFA’s Golden Ball trophy for the best player in the World Cup. Mbappe won the Golden Boot as top scorer.

In the FIFA award voting, Messi scored 52 points, Mbappe 44 and Benzema 34.

Mbappe, 24, 11 years younger than Messi, is seen as Messi’s successor on the world stage and is on the shortlist of three for the first time. He was fourth in the voting for the 2018 award that led France to the World Cup title.

Real Madrid star Benzema won the more prestigious Ballon d’Or in October ahead of the World Cup. The French forward missed the tournament due to injury. Messi was not included in the long list of Ballon d’Or contenders announced in August.

Robert Lewandowski has won the FIFA award in the past two years, and Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of the 14-player shortlist for the first time this year.

Messi has achieved the world’s best XI for men 16 times, breaking the record he shared with Ronaldo. The team includes Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois, Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi, Portugal’s Joao Cancelo, Dutchman Virgil van Dijk, Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne, Croatia’s Luka Modric, Brazil’s Casemiro and Norway. Erling Haaland of France, Mbappe and Benzema of France.

Earlier on Monday, French prosecutors launched a preliminary investigation into rape charges against Paris Saint-Germain defender Hakimi.

Messi chose his former Barcelona teammate Neymar as the best player.Only Brazilian international Thiago Silva voted for Neymar.

Russian coaches and captains were not banned from voting for awards.

Putellas has received an award from USA’s Alex Morgan and Beth Mead for leading England to the European Championship title in 2022.

Barcelona playmaker Pteras is back in the top three despite missing the tournament following an injury a few days before the Euros. She scored her 34 goals in all competitions last season.

Mead was the joint top scorer in the Euros and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. She suffered a serious knee injury while playing for Arsenal in November and could miss the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July.

Morgan, who was second in the 2019 poll to teammate Megan Rapinoe, was a tournament player when the United States won the CONCACAF W Championship last year. She was also a joint top scorer.

Prior to this, Argentina coach Lionel Scaroni was named FIFA men’s coach of the year after leading his team to the World Cup title in December.

The Women’s Coach of the Year award went to Salina Wiegman, who led England to victory at the Women’s European Championship.

Scaroni took over Argentina on a provisional basis at the end of 2018, but was widely criticized for his lack of experience, having never coached a professional team. It has been extended until the end of the 2026 World Cup.

Other coaches on the shortlist were Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola.

The women’s goalkeeper award went to Euro winner Mary Arps of England, while the best men’s goalkeeper was Argentina’s World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez.

The Paris event was marked by a tribute to Pelé, who died late last year at the age of 82 after a battle with colon cancer. Pele’s wife, Marcia Aoki, received a trophy honoring football greats from the hands of former Brazilian striker Ronaldo.

“I have three things to say to God for giving us Edson. To Edson for giving Pele. And thank, thank, thank you to the world for taking them so well.” she said.

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