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The Best | FIFA pays homage to football’s best male and female athletes in 2022

Lionel Messi expectedly took home the best men’s player award as the stars gathered in the city of lights to pay homage to the top performers of both the men’s and women’s game, while football also honored the fans in a star-studded night in Paris.



Best Women’s Player: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona/Spain)

Spanish international star Alexia Putellas had a fantastic 2021-22 for club and country, leading Barcelona’s women’s side to three major honors, including a run to the Champions League final as well as the club’s third consecutive league title while also starring for Spain in the process.

Best Men’s Player: Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain/Argentina)

As anticipated, World Cup-winning captain Lionel Messi was nominated by his peers as the best men’s player after a stunning performance in Qatar to finally put to rest the ghost of the late, great, Diego Maradona to bring home the one major honor that had eluded him for his entire career.

FIFPRO Women’s XI

Christiane Endler (Olympique Lyonnais/Chile); Lucy Bronze (Barcelona/England), Maria Leon (Barcelona/Spain), Leah Williamson (Arsenal/England), Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais/France); Alexia Putellas (Barcelona/Spain), Keira Walsh (Barcelona/England), Lena Oberdorf (VfL Wolfsburg/Germany); Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave/United States), Sam Kerr (Chelsea/Australia), Beth Mead (Arsenal/England)

FIFPRO Men’s XI

Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid/Belgium); Achraf Hakimi (PSG/Morocco), João Cancelo (Manchester City/Portugal), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/Netherlands); Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/Belgium), Luka Modrić (Real Madrid/Croatia), Casemiro (Manchester United/Brazil); Lionel Messi (PSG/Argentina), Kylian Mbappé (PSG/France), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France), Erling Haaland (Manchester City/Norway)

FIFA Fan Award: Argentinian fans

Millions waited over thirty years to see global powerhouse Argentina lift its long-awaited third World Cup trophy, with thousands following Lionel Messi and company to Qatar, while the nation remained glued to televisions at home and around the globe to eventually erupt into pure elation that left football with countless images and videos to remember.

FIFA Fairplay Award: Luka Lochoshvili (Cremonese/Georgia)

Georgian international Luka Lochoshvili turned footballing hero to lifesaver when he sprang into action to save the life of Austria Wien veteran Georg Teigl, ensuring the Austrian did not swallow his tongue after colliding heads during a match against Wolfsberger AC.

Best Women’s Coach: Sarina Wiegman (England)

Gifted Dutch manager Sarina Wiegman took her talents to England’s Three Lionesses with stunning results after leading the nation to its first major footballing honor in the women’s game, beating Germany in the final at Wembley. It finally came home.

Best Men’s Coach: Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)

Beating out Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola is no easy feat, but former Argentinian international Lionel Scaloni has forever left his mark on his country after his brilliant guidance in the technical area pushed Argentina to their third World Cup win.

Puskás Award: Marcin Oleksy (Warta Poznan/Poland)

Polish amputee footballer Marcin Oleksy was rightly given this year’s Puskás award after a stunning scissor kick during a match for Polish side Warta Poznan, beating out the likes of Kylian Mbappé and Richarlison in the process.

Best Male Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa/Argentina)

Coming up against Thibaut Courtois and Yassine Bounou, it is no surprise that Argentina and Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez took home this year’s award on the back of his influential performances for the World Cup winners.

Best Female Goalkeeper: Mary Earps (Manchester United/England)

Manchester United and England number one Mary Earps was a vital cog in the wheel as the Three Lionesses bagged the 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championship in front of home support for their first major footballing honor after defeating Germany in the final.


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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.


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