Lionel Messi won the Fifa Men’s Player of the Year award on Monday with Megan Rapinoe bagging the women’s prize to cap a historic year for the United States’ World Cup icon.
Barcelona forward Messi edged out Virgil Van Dijk, who won the Uefa player’s award last month after helping Liverpool to the Champions League last season.
Juventus’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo had also been shortlisted for the award, but did not attend the ceremony as he lost out to his rival in the famous La Scala opera house.
? #TheBest FIFA Men's Player 2019
— #TheBest ? (@FIFAcom) September 23, 2019
Messi, 32, was top scorer in the Champions League last season with 12 goals before Barcelona were dumped out by Liverpool in the semifinals, the Catalans throwing away a three-goal first-leg lead with a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Anfield.
The Argentine also won the European Golden Shoe after scoring 36 goals, won La Liga title with Barcelona and helped Argentina to bronze at 2019 Copa America.
Van Dijk had been bidding to become just the second defender – after Italian Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 – to be recognised by Fifa as the world’s best player.
Following the latest record-breaking feat for the talismanic Argentine, lovers of the beautiful game took to twitter to hail his unmatched mastery and longevity.
— Ekene Bobmartins Jnr (@great190) September 23, 2019
The day Lionel Messi will retire, tears will flow… you people will beg me and i will not hear ????? pic.twitter.com/1k5rZzTQcL
— Josiah Samuel (@SijeWise) September 24, 2019
Let’s get this out of the way, the award is meaningless to Messi himself and we all know it. I’m just happy that he finally catches a break after 5 months of letdowns.
— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) September 23, 2019
Messi makes extraordinary things look ordinary
Ronaldo makes ordinary things look extraordinary
— ALL YOU NEED ❤ (@ilarinzo) September 24, 2019
— pear mudzingwa (@wallstreet_god) September 23, 2019
6th Time Best Player Of The Year….
The God My Only Love Messi Jan❤❤❤ pic.twitter.com/aaZMKhyHXq
— Adeel Hayat (@AdeelHa43734182) September 24, 2019
— Bharath (@bharath_kumar24) September 23, 2019
I will never forget when messi won his 6th best fifa men's player award last night
— Sir Vage ? (@sammie_chika) September 24, 2019
— TRON (@RonaldTumuramy) September 24, 2019
The SI unit of FOOTBALL is
Sco pa tu manaa ?? pic.twitter.com/mXAw0H7Uvy
— Simply SOJ (@Hardehsoji) September 24, 2019