Messi Wins Record Sixth FIFA Best Player Award
Argentina and Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi, won Men’s Player of the Year at the Best FIFA Football Awards for a record sixth time last night
USA’s 2019 Women’s World Cup star, Megan Rapinoe emerged winner of the Best Woman award.
Messi was voted ahead of Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
The 32-year-old Argentine who helped Barcelona win La Liga and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, previously won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015
Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp won the men’s Coach of the Year.
Klopp was nominated for the award along with two other Premier League bosses – Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.
Liverpool beat Spurs in the Champions League final in June and came second in the Premier League in 2018-19.
The Reds have also won all six league matches at the start of 2019-20.
“It is great, nobody expected this 20, 10, five, four years ago that I would be standing here,” said Klopp.
“We know what an incredible job you (Mauricio Pochettino) did and what Pep did. I have to say thank you to my outstanding club Liverpool FC.
“To the owners thank you, they gave me an incredible team. I have to thank my team – as a coach you can only be as good as your team is. I’m really proud of being manager of such an incredible bunch of players.”
In accepting the award, Klopp announced that he is joining the Common Goal initiative set up by Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata. It means the Reds boss will donate 1% of his salary to the charity, which pledges to “generate social change and improve lives”.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was also a winner as he took the Best Goalkeeper prize ahead of Manchester City’s Ederson and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa won the Fair Play award after he ordered his team to allow Aston Villa to score an uncontested equaliser during their 1-1 draw in their Championship match in April.
Eighteen-year-old Daniel Zsori won the Puskas award for the best goal with his spectacular 93rd-minute overhead kick for Debrecen against Ferencvaros, just after he came on as a substitute for his Hungarian league debut in February.
His strike beat Messi’s chip from the edge of the penalty area against Real Betis and Juan Quintero’s powerful 30-yard free-kick for River Plate against Racing Club.
THE BEST, IN FULL
Men’s Player: Lionel Messi
Women’s Player: Megan Rapinoe
Men’s Coach: Jurgen Klopp
Women’s Coach: Jill Elliss
Men’s Goalkeeper: Alisson
Women’s Goalkeeper: Sari van Veenendaal
Puskás Award: Daniel Zsori
Fan Award: Silvia Grecco
Fair Play Award: Marcelo Bielsa
Men’s World11: Alisson; Matthijs de Ligt, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk; Frenkie de Jong, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi
Women’s World11: Sari van Veenendaal; Lucy Bronze, Nilla Fischer, Kelley O’Hara, Wendie Renard; Julie Ertz, Amandine Henry, Rose Lavelle; Marta, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe