Lionel Messi has been crowned the 2022 Best FIFA Men’s Player.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward picked up the award for the second time after a glittering year which culminated in the 35-year-old winning the World Cup with Argentina
The awards ceremony – which was this year hosted in Paris – seeks to “crown the outstanding figures in world football”. And Messi certainly encompasses that after a year which saw his long quest for a World Cup finally come to an end.
In what was likely his last crack at lifting international football’s biggest prize, the Paris Saint-Germain superstar helped fire Argentina to glory in Qatar,i scored seven times in as many matches in the tournament and was awarded the Golden Ball for best player.
Victory in the Middle East helped further cement his legacy as one of the greatest footballers of all time. On the domestic front in 2022, he helped PSG to the Ligue 1 title and scored 17 goals and registered 24 assists in 37 appearances.
But it was an international calendar year which included 18 goals, six assists and a World Cup which put him above the competition. Recognition from FIFA means Messi has scooped the award for the second time since its inception in 2016.
And with a pair of gongs, he joins Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski as two-time winners. In the seven editions of the ceremony, Messi has only been out of the top 3 once and was a narrow runner-up to Robert Lewandowski 12 months ago.
In a typically humble acceptance speech, Messi said: “I’d like to express thanks to my team-mates, to Scaloni [Argentina coach] and without them I wouldn’t be here. My coach, he is part of this victory as well. I’d like to pay tribute to all of my team-mates. It was an amazing year and I achieved a dream I’ve been hoping for so long.