GOAT Lionel Messi has been named the Best FIFA men’s player for 2022, beating Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema to the award. This is the second time that Messi has won the honor, which was inaugurated by FIFA in 2016. The Barcelona star won the award after scoring seven goals and three assists in Argentina’s title-winning run at the FIFA World Cup 2022. Messi had previously won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2009.
In the FIFA Awards vote, Messi had 52 points, while Mbappé had 44 and Benzema 34. Mbappé, who is 11 years younger than Messi at 24, made the three-man shortlist for the first time and is considered Messi’s heir apparent on the world stage.
The award ceremony was held in Paris, where Messi was joined by Mbappe and his wife Antonella Roccuzzo. Messi said, “This year was just mad for me, to be able to achieve my dream that I had fought so hard for. In the end I got it and it was the most beautiful thing that has happened in my career.”
Lionel Messi scored twice in an epic final in Doha as Argentina beat France on penalties despite Mbappe netting a hat-trick for Les Bleus in a remarkable 3-3 draw. It was an impressive victory for Argentina, who had never won the FIFA World Cup before.
Earlier in the ceremony, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni was voted 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 the title at the Women’s European Championship.
Notably, Robert Lewandowski won the FIFA award the last two years, and Cristiano Ronaldo was left off the 14-player shortlist for the award this year for the first time.
Lionel Messi bags FIFA Best Player Award for the 2nd Time
Lionel Messi’s win puts him level with Ronaldo and Lewandowski, who have also won the award twice since its rebranding in 2016. Messi has won the FIFA prize for the seventh time in the last 14 years. He is the only player in the history of club football to win the Golden Boot, Pichichi Trophy, FIFA World Player, and Ballon d’Or in the same season, which he achieved during the 2009/10 season.
In addition to his impressive list of achievements, Messi also holds a world record that is nearly impossible to break: he is the all-time top scorer in a calendar year, having smashed 91 goals in 2012.
Overall, Messi’s win cements his status as one of the greatest football players of all time. As he continues to break records and amass awards, it is clear that his legacy will endure for generations to come.