Lionel Messi beats Mbappe, Benzema to lift Best FIFA Men's Player award


Lionel Messi has been named Best FIFA Men's Player for the second time in his career.

The Argentine footballer beat his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid's Karim Benzema to lift the Golden Ball trophy at a ceremony in Paris on Monday.

"It's amazing. It was a tremendous year and it is an honour for me to be here tonight and win this award," Messi said in his acceptance speech. The footballer sat next to Mbappe throughout the ceremony at the Salle Pleyel.

Messi's win comes after he led Argentina to their first World Cup victory in 36 years in December 2022. The footballer scored seven goals at the World Cup, including a brace in the final victory on penalties.

"I achieved a dream I had been hoping for so long and finally I achieved it. It's a dream for any player; very few people can achieve that and I was lucky enough to do so," Messi said of his World Cup victory.

This is Messi's second FIFA The Best title, with his first coming in 2019. He has also won a record seven Ballon d'Or awards.

"I want to express my thanks to [coach Lionel] Scaloni and my teammates; without them I would not be here," Messi added.

Messi has been in top form this season, scoring 16 goals and registering 14 assists in 27 games in all competitions. He is currently chasing his second Ligue 1 title in two years at PSG.

In other awards at the ceremony, Barcelona's Alexia Putellas won the Best FIFA Women's award for the second year running, while Argentina's Scaloni and Emiliano Martinez got the awards for top men's coach and goalkeeper, respectively.

Among the other women's winners, Mary Earps was named keeper of the year and England's Dutch coach Sarina Wiegman received the accolade for best coach.

Polish amputee Marcin Oleksy won the Puskas prize for best goal of the year for a spectacular acrobatic volley with Warta Poznan against Stal Rzeszow.

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