Messi wins FIFA’s Best Player award
Lionel Messi was named FIFA player of the year 2022 on Monday as Argentina scooped all major men’s awards after winning a vintage World Cup final last December.
The 35-year-old forward scored two goals in the final against France, with the South Americans emerging triumphant on penalties following a 3-3 draw after extra time in Qatar, reports Reuters.
“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, who sat next to France forward and Paris St Germain team mate Kylian Mbappe throughout the ceremony at Paris’s Salle Pleyel.
Mbappe, also nominated for the highly anticipated award of the night, netted a hat-trick in the World Cup final but 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 team mates, without them I would not be here,” Messi added.
“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.”
His compatriots Lionel 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, while 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 who had four players in the year’s World 11 – Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze, Leah Williamson and Keira Walsh.
Spain’s Alexia Putellas, who won the Ballon d’Or last year, was named women’s player of the year after inspiring Barcelona to a third consecutive national title in 2022.
Polish amputee Marcin Oleksy won the Puskas prize for best goal of the year for a spectacular acrobatic volley with Warta Poznan against Stal Rzeszow.