24th September, 2019
Lionel Messi saw off stiff competition from Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo to win the FIFA’s Best Men’s Player Award for 2019.
This is the first time Messi has won FIFA’s flagship individual award since it split from the Ballon d’Or and got re-branded in 2016.
As a five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, Messi now has six FIFA awards to his name overall and was honoured for guiding Barcelona to the LaLiga title in 2018-19 – scoring 36 times in 34 outings.
Of course, it is a deserved award for the Barcelona captain who enjoyed yet another prolific campaign last year, finishing as Europe’s top goalscorer and helping Barcelona retain their La Liga title.
The Barcelona and Argentina superstar came second behind Ronaldo in 2016 and 2017, before missing out on the top three altogether last time around.
The Argentine has now won the award six times in his career, more than any other player, and it would be little surprise if he won it a few more times before hanging up his boots.
Messi was not the only winner from Barcelona as it was also a beautiful night for Barca team-mate Frenkie de Jong. The Dutch star was named in the FIFPro Men’s World XI of 2019.
Like many had expected, the best men’s coach award went to Liverpool Jurgen Klopp, while Reds stopper Alisson picked top goalkeeper award ahead of Ederson and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
However, Messi was beaten to the Puskas Award by 18-year-old Daniel Zsori and his 93rd-minute overhead kick for Debrecen against Ferencvaros.