Paris, Feb. 28 (BNA): Lionel Messi was named the 2022 FIFA World Player of the Year on Monday after Argentina claimed all the men’s major awards for winning the World Cup final last December.
The 35-year-old striker scored twice in the final against France, as the South American side triumphed on penalties after a 3-3 draw after extra time in Qatar.
It’s been a great year and I’m honored to be here tonight and win this award,” said Messi, who was seated alongside France striker and PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe throughout the ceremony at Saly Pleyel in Paris. Reuters reported.
Mbappe, who was also nominated for the night’s highly anticipated award, scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final but the feat was overshadowed as Messi finally claimed the most coveted trophy in world football.
Messi added, “I would like to express my thanks to (coach Lionel) Scaloni and my teammates, because without them I wouldn’t be here.”
“I achieved the dream I had for a long time and I finally achieved it. It is a dream for any player, very few people can achieve it and I was lucky enough to achieve it.”
Countrymen Lionel Scaloni and Emiliano Martinez won the Coach of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year awards respectively, and their fans took home the Fans of the Year award, while England were rewarded for winning UEFA Women’s Euro 2022.
Marie Erbis was named Goalkeeper of the Year and Dutch coach Sarina Wiegmann was named Coach of the Year for a team that had four players in this year’s World XI – Beth Mead, Lucy Bruns, Leah Williamson and Kyra Walsh.
Last year’s Ballon d’Or winner, Spain’s Alexia Botelas, was named Women’s Player of the Year after inspiring Barcelona to a third consecutive national title in 2022.
Polish amputee Marcin Oleksiy won the Puskas Award for Goal of the Year for his spectacular acrobatic volley with Warta Poznan against Stal Rzeszow.