Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi has been named the FIFA Best Men’s Player at FIFA’s Best Awards.
The Argentine star fended off Liverpool defender, Virgil van Dijk and Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo, who were also named in the final shortlist for the award.
He finished with 46 points ahead of van Dijk with 38 and Ronaldo with 36.
Messi scored 51 goals in 50 appearances last season for Barcelona as they won the Spanish title. and guided Argentina to the semifinals of the Copa America as captain.
He also chipped in with 20 assists.
van Dijk had hoped to make it a treble of wins on the night for Liverpool after manager Jurgen Klopp and goalkeeper Alisson Becker had won awards for Coach of The Year and Goalkeeper of the Year.
He however misses out despite a breathtaking first full season at the Merseyside club.
van Dijk led from the back as the Reds lost only one game in the Premier League in the last campaign, finishing as runners-up to Manchester City.
He was also in imperious form for Liverpool in the Champions League as they became European Champions for the sixth time. He also helped Holland reach the UEFA Nations League final.
van Dijk was named UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year, beating the same two players on this shortlist.
Also named in the list was Juventus forward and two-time winner of the Men’s award, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo, who failed to pick up a third straight award last year, had an impressive year with the Italian giants, winning the Serie A title and the Italian Cup, while being named the Player of the season.
He also helped Portugal win the inaugural UEFA Nations League.
Missing out on the final shortlist despite making the top ten were former Ajax players Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, former Chelsea winger, Eden Hazard who has since earned a big-money move to Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspurs striker, Harry Kane and PSG forward, Kylian Mbappe.
The winner of last year’s award, Luka Modric, failed to make this year’s shortlist.
WHO MISSED OUT COMPLETELY?
Some fans were up in arms over the absence of some players on the list.
Most notable amongst them are Man City and Portugal attacker Bernardo Silva and Liverpool goalkeeper, Alisson.
Bernado was one of the Manchester club’s star performers as they won a domestic treble and reached the quarterfinal of the Champions League.
He was also influential in Portugal’s run to the UEFA Nations League being named the best player of the tournament.
His teammate Riyad Mahrez, while not being as key to Man City’s title wins, played his part and also helped Algeria win the 2019 AFCON.
Alisson, after helping Liverpool to the Champions League crown and second place in the Premier League, capped off a stunning year with the Copa America title with Brazil.
Rapinoe wins women’s award
There’s a new Women’s Player of the Year after Megan Rapinoe won the award on Monday night.
And the two-time World up winner picked up the prize following her exploits in the summer as the USA won another Women’s world title.
She was one on 11 players who featured for their nations at the recent World Cup and one of the four Americans on the initial 12-woman list.
“I’m at a loss for words. First and foremost I want to thank my family, my friends and family, thank you for all my support you’ve given me and all the coaches I’ve had in my life,” Rapinoe said
“Jill Ellis and the rest have put us in a great position. This was an incredible year for women’s football, for those who just noticed you are a bit late to the party. It truly was incredible, to be part of the World Cup, the enthusiasm we had was amazing.”