Monday night was one of the best moments for some footballing icons and fans across the globe.
The 2022 FIFA Awards, which took place in Paris, saw Argentina forward Lionel Messi emerge as the top men’s player in world football.
After the award was handed to the World Cup winner in Paris, FIFA gave some fascinating reading as to who voted for who, with the likes of Harry Kane, Thiago Silva and David Alaba appearing on the list.
In regard to this, the Austria captain David Alaba’s vote brought the most reaction. The votes show he chose the Les Parisiens star Lionel Messi ahead of his La Casa Blanca colleague Karim Benzema.
Alaba handed his five points to Messi before voting for Benzema in second and Kylian Mbappe in third – a decision that saw the hashtag #AlabaOut trending on social media.
The 30-year-old was racially abused on both his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
However, in the early hours of Tuesday, Alaba has since released a statement on his Twitter page explaining his decision to vote for Messi.
“Regarding FIFA The Best Award: The Austrian national team vote for this award as a team, not me alone. Everyone in the team council is able to vote and that’s how it’s decided,” he said.
“Everyone knows, especially Karim, how much I admire him and his performances and I have often said that for me he is the best striker in the world, and that is still the case. Without doubt.”
Despite Alaba’s statement, there have been mixed reactions from football fans across the globe. Some comments say the Madrid defender did no wrong in voting for Messi.
Lionel Messi took the top spot with 52 points. France striker and PSG forward Kylian Mbappe came in second with 44 points and Karim Benzema was placed third with 34 points.
The ceremony was FIFA’s seventh award in Paris, and Messi made history after receiving his second FIFA Men’s Player 2022 award.
“It’s amazing. It’s an honour for me to be here tonight and win this award,” said the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“Without my teammates, I wouldn’t be here. It was an amazing year and I achieved the dream that I’ve been hoping for so long and finally, I managed to achieve it.
“It [the World Cup] is the most wonderful thing that’s happened to me in my career”, Messi said.
Full list of 2022 FIFA Award winners.
- Special Recognition Award
Marcia Aoki accepted the special recognition award for late Football legend Pele at the Best FIFA Football Awards.
- Puskas Award
The FIFA Puskas Award is generally presented to a footballer who scores the most beautiful goal. This year the award was presented to Marcin Oleksy.
- Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper Award
Mary Earps of England, who won the Euro, received the Best Women’s Goalkeeper Award out of the three nominations.
- Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper Award
Emiliano Martinez of Argentina, who won the World Cup, was awarded FIFA Men’s Best Goalkeeper of the year.
- Best FIFA Women’s Player Award
Alexia Putellas, a standout for Barcelona and Spain, was awarded The Best FIFA Women’s Player at the FIFA Awards ceremony on Monday in Paris.
- Best FIFA Men’s Player Award
Lionel Messi was awarded FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year following Argentina’s World Cup victory in December in Qatar.
- Best FIFA Women’s Coach Award
Sarina Wiegman, who had guided the Netherlands to European glory in the year 2017 has won the FIFA Women’s Coach Award.
- Best FIFA Men’s Coach Award
Lionel Scaloni, Aregntina’s world-cup winning coach has been presented with the best FIFA Men’s Coach Award.
- FIFA Fair Play Award
The FIFA Fair Play Award was given to Georgian footballer Luka Lochoshvili for his life-saving actions during an Austrian Bundesliga game.
- Best FIFA Fan Award
The Argentinian National Team fans, who travelled to Qatar in astounding numbers to show tremendous support for their team’s ultimately successful FIFA World Cup campaign, were given the Best FIFA Fan Award.
- FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11
Some of the winners for the FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11 were: Christiane Endler (Olympique Lyonnais, Chile), Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais, France), Alexia Putellas (Barcelona, Spain), Sam Kerr (Chelsea, Australia).
- FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11
Some of the winners of the FIFPRO Men’s World 11 were: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool, Netherlands), Casemiro (Real Madrid/Manchester United, Brazil), Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain, Morocco), Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia), Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain, Argentina).