Lionel Messi can celebrate again
Photo: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP
A good two months after winning the World Cup, Argentina's superstar Lionel Messi has been named FIFA's best footballer of 2022.
The Paris Saint-Germain player prevailed in the final of the world association's The Best Gala against his French club-mate Kylian Mbappé and his compatriot Karim Benzema.
"It's a special award and a great honor," said Messi that evening in Paris.
For the 35-year-old, it was the seventh FIFA World Player award since 2009 – possibly the last in his extraordinary career.
In the women's category, Spain's Alexia Putellas from FC Barcelona won again, although she missed the European Championship in the summer due to a cruciate ligament rupture.
The German European Championship finalists were absent from the individual awards ceremony on stage, with the exception of Ann-Kathrin Berger from FC Chelsea, who had to give way to the English European champion Mary Earps in the category of the best goalkeeper.
After all, Lena Oberdorf was called up to the world eleven.
The World Cup was also the mood barometer in the other important men's price categories.
Argentina's keeper Emiliano Martínez was the best goalkeeper.
Argentina's head coach Lionel Scaloni prevailed among the coaches.
This also ended the German series: Jürgen Klopp (2019 and 2020) and Thomas Tuchel (2021) had been honored for their successes with Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC in recent years.
England coach Sarina Wiegman won the women's event.
The national coaches, the captains of the national teams, journalists and fans may take part in the voting.
Pelé honored posthumously
Real Madrid superstars including Benzema and Germany international Antonio Ruediger stayed away from the ceremony.
According to Spanish media reports, in protest against the award and the fact that their young star Vinícius Júnior was not included in the 26-player shortlist for the world eleven.
Officially, it was said that they wanted to prepare for the cup game against FC Barcelona on Thursday.
At the event, Pelé was posthumously honored with an honorary award.
The Brazilian football icon died at the end of last year at the age of 82.
"Pelé is immortal," said World Association President Gianni Infantino.