Following Argentina’s World Cup victory, Lionel Messi was named The Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2022 on Monday. Alexia Putellas of Spain was named The Best FIFA Women’s Player for 2022 at a ceremony in Paris.
Messi won the men’s award ahead of Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe, his Paris Saint-Germain colleague and competitor in the World Cup final.
It marks Messi’s second time winning the award, which FIFA instituted in 2016 following their separation with Ballon d’Or organizers France Football.
Messi scored twice in an epic final in Doha as Argentina beat France on penalties despite Mbappe netting a hat-trick for Les Bleus in a remarkable 3-3 draw.
The 35-year-old, a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, succeeds Robert Lewandowski on the FIFA honours list, while Putellas retained the women’s prize despite spending the second half of last year out injured.
The 29-year-old beat England’s European Championship-winning striker Beth Mead and United States star Alex Morgan to add the FIFA crown to the Ballon d’Or, which she has also won two years running.
Putellas is currently recovering from a serious knee injury suffered last July which saw her miss the Euro in England with Spain.
Prior to that she had scored 11 goals on Barcelona’s run to the Champions League final, which they lost to Lyon.