Lionel Messi wins the Best FIFA Men’s Player 2022 award.
The awards ceremony in Paris this year, aims to “honor the best in world football.” And after a year in which his long quest for a World Cup came to an end, Messi exemplifies that in an obvious way.
The Paris Saint-Germain great lead Argentina to victory in Qatar in what would be perhaps his final attempt to capture soccer’s top prize. Messi won the Golden Ball for best player after scoring seven goals in seven games in the tournament.
Winning in the Middle East contributed to his reputation as one of the greatest footballers of all time. In 2022, he helped PSG win the Ligue 1 title, scoring 17 goals and registering 24 assists in 37 games.
Yet, it was an international calendar year that contained 18 goals, six assists, and a World Cup that propelled him ahead of the competition. FIFA recognition means Messi has won the award for the second time since its introduction in 2016.
With two awards, he joins Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski as a two-time winner. Messi has only finished outside the top three once in the ceremony’s seven incarnations, and he was a close runner-up to Robert Lewandowski 12 months ago.
“I’d want to convey my gratitude to my team-mates, to Scaloni [Argentina coach], and without them, I wouldn’t be here,” Messi said in a typically humble acceptance speech. My coach is also a part of this accomplishment. I’d want to recognize all of my teammates. It was an incredible year in which I realized a long-held desire.
“Finally, I did it. It’s every player’s dream. Few players achieve that, and I’ve been fortunate enough to do so.”
Lionel Messi is becomes FIFA the best Men’s Player of the year 2022
His major rivals this time were French combo Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe. Benzema won the Ballon d’Or in October of last year for his outstanding efforts during Real Madrid’s Champions League run. Even though it appears like Messi would easily win a record-tying seventh in a few months. But he was not even in the nomination for the award at first.
Mbappe, like his PSG teammate Messi, had a similarly historic World Cup. The 24-year-old was the highest scorer in Qatar and became the first individual to score a hat-trick in the final since Sir Geoff Hurst.
Following his first Ballon d’Or in 2009, Messi has won the coveted honor six more times. Yet, he has not achieved the same degree of domination as the FIFA equivalent.
The FIFA Best awards are decided by media representatives, national team coaches, national team captains, and fans, as opposed to journalists who vote for the Ballon d’Or. Each group’s weight is equally weighted, ensuring that each category is adequately represented when determining the awardees.
Lewandowski has already won the honor owing to his achievements with former club Bayern Munich. He has already joined Barcelona, where he will assist replace the vacuum left by Messi’s surprise departure in the summer of 2021.