Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and the USA World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe have been crowned players of the year at Fifa’s The Best awards, held at the stunning Teatro alla Scala.
With 21 of the 55 nominees playing in England, it was natural that the Premier League would dominate the men’s awards, but there was surprise as Messi beat Virgil van Dijk, who lifted the Uefa player of the year trophy, to the main prize.
The Argentina forward collected his sixth Fifa title, to make him the outright record holder ahead of an absent Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won five. Messi helped fire Barcelona to the 2018-19 league title and a staggering 54 goals in 58 games no doubt helped swing the vote in his favour.
Jürgen Klopp collected The Best men’s coach award, beating Mauricio Pochettino and Pep Guardiola.
Rapinoe, who stole the show on and off the pitch at the World Cup, finishing with the golden ball, golden boot and World Cup trophy, while using her platform to challenge Donald Trump and push Fifa on investment, was, for once, “a little at a loss for words”.
“That very rarely happens to me, she said before thanking her teammates “who let me be a little bit wild at times but reel me in when needed”. She then, characteristically, used her platform as a call to arms.
The full list of the winners follows:
The Best FIFA Men’s Player
Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)
The Best FIFA Women’s Player
Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC/USA)
The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper
Alisson Becker (Liverpool/Brazil)
The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper
Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands/Arsenal/Atlético Madrid)
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach
Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool)
The Best FIFA Women’s Coach
Jill Ellis (USA
FIFA Puskás Award
Daniel Zsori (Hungary)
FIFA Fan Award
FIFA Fair Play Award
Marcelo Bielsa and the Leeds United squad
Via Gazzetta / AS / Guardian