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Lionel Messi is the FIFA World Player of the Year for the seventh time

Lionel Messi is the FIFA World Player of the Year for the seventh time

Messi smiled as he took the stage at the Salle Pleyel, not far from the Arc de Triomphe in the French capital. “It gives me great pleasure to be back here,” said the PSG star. The last time Messi held the trophy was in 2019. Even then he had outstripped his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who took home five trophies. Now Messi is behind Paul Robert Lewandowski who was honored twice recently.

Messi said about the World Cup: “This year was amazing. I was able to fulfill my biggest dream that I had been working towards for a long time. It means a lot to me.” “It is the most beautiful, the biggest, the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my career. It is the most beautiful thing that can happen to a footballer.” In club football, ‘La Pulga’ has already won everything it could have won with FC Barcelona. He was also a champion with Paris Saint-Germain last year.

As expected, World Champion coach Lionel Scaloni has been named World Coach of the Year. The 44-year-old beat Champions League champions Carlo Ancelotti of Real Madrid and Pep Guardiola of England champions Manchester City. On the day of the awards ceremony, Scaloni also sealed an extension to his contract with the Argentine FA until 2026. “It’s better to make the people in your country cheer,” he said of winning the World Cup in Qatar in December.

Argentina’s men cleared significantly. The world goalkeeper title went to Emiliano Martinez. In addition to Messi, his PSG teammate Mbappe and Real Madrid’s Benzema up front, former Salzburger Erling Haaland has also made it to the global selection list. The team is elected exclusively by football professionals along with the players’ association FIFPro. Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was also considered there in place of Martinez. Benzema missed the World Cup injured after receiving the “Golden Ball” in the fall.

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For women, both awards went to the same player. Potellas won his second FIFA election after winning the Ballon d’Or, despite the 29-year-old midfielder’s recent injury. For the second time after 2017, the Dutchman Sarina Wegman, who led England to the European Championship title, was chosen as the best coach. Best goalkeeper Marie Erbis is also part of the successful England team.

At the beginning of the ceremony, the “best” Pele was posthumously honored with an honorary award. The Brazilian legend passed away at the end of last year at the age of 82. His widow accepted the silver trophy from former world champion Ronaldo. “Pele is immortal,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Former world footballer Ronaldo and former teammate of Pele, three-time world champion Jairzinho, paid tribute. In a video – accompanied by Pele’s statements – important stages in his unique career are shown.