Lionel Messi has been crowned the best men’s player of 2022 at FIFA’s The Best awards after beating French duo Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe to lift the award.
Messi claimed his second The Best title and first since 2019 after World Cup heroics with Argentina
The 35-year-old led Argentina to the World Cup crown, scoring seven goals and becoming the first player to score in every game at the competition.
An emotional Messi admitted that the personal award completed what had been a ‘tremendous’ year of success for him and his club and country colleagues.
Messi stated: ‘Wow, it’s amazing. It’s been a tremendous year and it’s an honour for me to be here tonight and win this award.
‘Without my team-mates I wouldn’t be here. I achieved the dream I had been hoping for for so long. Very few people can achieve that and I have been lucky to do so.’
Meanwhile, Messi’s national team-mate and Aston Villa shot-stopper Emiliano Martinez claimed FIFA’s ‘The Best’ goalkeeper prize to be crowned the world’s best.
Martinez beat Morocco’s Yassine Bounou and Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois to the award, and thanked the efforts of his parents in helping him make it to the top.
‘They always ask me who my idols are or who I watched when I was a kid…Watching my mom clean buildings 8 o for 9 hours and watching my dad work. They are my idols,’ said Martinez.
Argentina’s coach Lionel Scaloni was recognised as ‘The Best’ men’s coach as the World Cup-winning manager topped the polls ahead of Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid’s Champions League-winning coach Carlo Ancelotti.