PARIS – Lionel Messi continued his legendary career to be awarded the FIFA Best Player of the Year for his seventh time.
In the FIFA Best Awards held at Paris on 27th February, FIFA president Gianni Infantino passed the highest honour of the ceremony to the Argentinian as the climax of the night event.
Messi was widely expected to receive the title before yesterday, as his nearly perfect performance in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which brought his nation the second golden trophy, as well as the first of his own.
LM10 who was also the Golden Ball winner of the World Cup 2022 and 2014, led the South Americans into the final in Qatar, scored twice in the 90 minutes and extra time to drag the match into the penalty shootout.
Leo continued to keep his record of the most winner of the FIFA Best Player. He won them before in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019.
Polish striker Robert Lewandowski holds the titles in 2020 and 2021.
Slight Lead on Mbappe
The Argentinian icon isn’t surprised to be named as the Player of the Year, but his leading advantage isn’t much to his competitors.
Messi got a total of 52 votes in the polls, only eight ahead of second place’s Kylian Mbappe with 44 votes.
The French striker helped Les Bleus to complete as runner-up in the Qatar World Cup, awarded the Golden Boot by scoring eight goals in the event, including a hat-trick in the final.
The 24 years old superstar who is also Messi’ teammate in Paris Saint-Germain, is widely regarded as the next legend to dominate the football world for the next ten years.
Best Goalkeeper and Best Coach
Karim Benzema is in third place with 34 votes, Luka Modric got 28 votes and Erling Haaland received 24 votes.
The award is voted by every national football team’s captain and head coach, with each of them choosing their preferred three players.
Meanwhile, Emiliano Martinez was awarded the Best Goalkeeper of the Year. His outstanding performance was credited for Argentina’s victory in Qatar last December.
Argentina national team head coach Lionel Scaloni was named as the Best Coach of the Year, making La Albiceleste the biggest winner in this ceremony.
Messi Featured Best Eleven
The FIFA ceremony had also revealed the Best Eleven of the Year, with Messi and Mbappe featuring in the line-up.
Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was elected in the best squad, although Emiliano was the Best Goalkeeper award winner.
Moroccan left-back Achraf Hakimi, Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk and Portuguese right-back were listed in the defence line.
Modric, Brazilian Casemiro and Belgian Kevin de Bruyne featured in the midfield.
Messi, Mbappe, Benzema and Norwegian Erling Haaland appeared in the front line.
FIFA Best XI of the Year:
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois
Defender: Achraf Hakimi, Virgil van Dijk, Joao Cancelo
Midfielder: Luka Modric, Kevin de Bruyne, Casemiro
Forward: Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe.
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