Messi Wins FIFA Best Men’s Player Award, Ronaldo Skips Ceremony

Messi Wins FIFA Best Men’s Player Award

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi won the best men’s player at the Best FIFA Football Awards in Milan as Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, who stayed away from the star-studded ceremony, and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk missed out on the top prize.

It is the sixth time Messi has been voted the world’s best, after wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.

The 32-year-old Argentine helped Barcelona win La Liga and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

United States forward Megan Rapinoe won the best women’s player award.

Klopp gets coach prize ahead of Guardiola and Pochettino

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was named men’s coach of the year after a season in which they beat Tottenham 2-0 to lift the Champions League.

The Reds also finished second in the Premier League with 97 points – the third-highest tally recorded in the competition.

Klopp was nominated for the award along with two other Premier League bosses – Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.

“It is great, nobody expected this 20, 10, five, four years ago that I would be standing here,” said Klopp, whose team have won all six league matches at the start of the 2019-20 season.

“We know what an incredible job you [Mauricio Pochettino] did and what Pep did. I have to say thank you to my outstanding club Liverpool FC.

“To the owners thank you, they gave me an incredible team. I have to thank my team – as a coach you can only be as good as your team is. I’m really proud of being the manager of such an incredible bunch of players.”

In accepting the award, Klopp announced that he is joining the Common Goal initiative set up by Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata. It means the Reds boss will donate 1% of his salary to the charity, which pledges to “generate social change and improve lives”.

Alisson and Bielsa are also winners

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was also a winner as he took the best goalkeeper prize ahead of Manchester City’s Ederson and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa won the fair play award after he ordered his team to allow Aston Villa to score an uncontested equaliser during their 1-1 draw in their Championship match in April.

Bielsa’s side had gone ahead controversially when the Villa players stopped as they expected the ball to be kicked out of play when Jonathan Kodjia was injured before the Argentine intervened.

Eighteen-year-old Daniel Zsori won the Puskas award for the best goal with his spectacular 93rd-minute overhead kick for Debrecen against Ferencvaros, just after he came on as a substitute for his Hungarian league debut in February.

His strike beat Messi’s chip from the edge of the penalty area against Real Betis and Juan Quintero’s powerful 30-yard free-kick for River Plate against Racing Club, reports the BBC.

Fifa Fifpro Men’s Team of the Year

Goalkeeper – Alisson (Liverpool/Brazil)

Defenders – Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax and Juventus/Netherlands), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/Netherlands), Marcelo (Real Madrid/Brazil).

Midfielders – Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia), Frenkie de Jong (Ajax and Barcelona/Netherlands), Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Real Madrid/Belgium)

Forwards – Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain/France), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Portugal), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)

SEE ALSO: Virgil Van Dijk Wins UEFA Player of the Year Award

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