Football: Messi Beats Ronaldo , Van Dijk to Emerge as World Best Player Again
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona and Argentina poses with the The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award and The FIFA FIFPro Men’s World11 Award trophies during The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 at Teatro alla Scala on September 23,FIFA
The 2019 FIFA FIFPro Men’s and Women’s Players of the Year were announced at a gala celebration held at the Teatro all Scala in Milan on Monday evening.
Lionel Messi beat off competition from Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk to take the Men’s award. The FIFA Awards became a stand-alone event in 2016 and Cristiano Ronaldo took home the first two trophies. Last year the winner was Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric.
Messi won the World’s Player of the Year award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015 when it was presented jointly as the FIFA/Ballon d’Or.
A separate award again, the Ballon d’Or winner will be announced in Paris on December 2 and it looks like a battle between Messi and UEFA Player of the Year, Virgil van Dijk.
The Women’s award went to Megan Rapinoe who added the title of the Best Women’s Player for 2019 to her Golden Ball and Golden Boot trophies from the Women’s World Cup.
Lucy Bronze, winner of the World Cup Silver Ball and the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year and Alex Morgan, the World Cup Silver Boot winner made up the trio of nominations. A year ago Marta won the female honor.
Six other individual winners were announced along with the a Fair Play Award and the FIFA FIFPro Men’s and Women’s Best 11 during the evening’s proceedings.
The two coaching awards went to Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and twice Women’s World Cup winner, Jill Ellis of the United States.
Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino were also nominated in the Men’s category and Sarina Wiegman who coached the Women’s 2019 World Cup runners-up, the Netherlands, and Phil Neville, the Coach of England – 4th at the 2019 World Cup – rounded out the Women’s trio. The 2018 award was won by Reynald Pedros, Coach of the female Olympique Lyon side.
Alisson Bekker of Liverpool won out over Ederson (Manchester City), and Marc ter-Stegen (Barcelona) and was named the Best goalkeeper. A year ago the winner was Thibaut Courtois.
The award recognizing the world’s best woman goalkeeper was made for the first time and it came down to three players all who performed magnificently at the 2019 Women’s World Cup. In the end Christiane Endler (Chile) and Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden) were edged out by the Dutch captain Sari van Veenendaal.
A worldwide poll limited to fans decided on that the FIFA Fan Award should go to Silvia Grecco from Brazil. The Netherlands supporters at France 2019 and Justo Sanchez from Uruguay were also shortlisted
Silvia Grecco, a Brazilian mother, describes each Palmeiras match to her blind son Nikollas. Nikollas was born five months premature, weighing just half a kilogram, and complications during his birth led to his retina failing to form.
The FIFA Ferenc Puskás Award for the best goal scored in the world over the last year went to Dániel Zsóri for his goal for Debrecen against Ferencváros on 16 February of this year. The 18-year-old the youngster made his league debut as a late substitute and within minutes he had scored the winning goal and his first ever professional strike. Just want to add that Zsóri was my pick when I rated the top 10 back in August.
Zsóri’s goal beat out magnificent efforts from Lionel Messi for Barcelona against Real Betis and Juan Quintero (COL) for River Plate against Racing Club.
The FIFA FIFPro Best 11 were selected from shortlists of 55 players announced earlier this month and the votes came from fellow professionals with a 4-3-3 formation used.
Men’s Best 11
Alisson Bekker (Liverpool)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax now Real Madrid), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Frenkie de Jong (then Ajax, now Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Eden Hazard (then Chelsea, now Real Madrid)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Kylian Mbappé (PSG)
Messi and Ronaldo have been named to every world 11 since 2007 and this was the 13th time Messi and Ronaldo have made the best 11.
Women’s Best 11
Sari van Veendaal (then Arsenal now Atletico)
Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyonnais), Nilla Fischer (then VfL Wolfsburg now Linkopings), Kelly O’Hara (Utah Royals), Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais)
Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyonnais), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit)
Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC), Marta (Orlando Pride)
To save you counting that is 5 players from the United States World Cup winning team, and 3 players from Olympique Lyonnais, winners of the UEFA Champions League for the sixth straight season.
The Fair Play Award went to Leeds United and manager, Marcelo Bielsa. Bielsa instructed his team to allow Aston Villa to score a goal after Leeds had taken the lead with a Villa player down injured.