This Monday the prizes that highlight the best coach and the most outstanding players were delivered. Messi, Scaloni, Martínez and the Argentine fans took the most anticipated prizes. For her part, Alexia Putellas repeated as the most outstanding footballer.
After the World Cup in Qatar, the International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA) gala did not have many surprises: Argentina, the world champion team, swept the most important awards: best player, best goalkeeper and best coach.
“The World Cup kills any competition,” said a journalist from the ‘ESPN’ channel in Spanish. And it is not out of reason. The World Cup, in addition to paralyzing the planet, is the final aspiration of a footballer. Played for the first time in the Middle East, Qatar 2022 had the advantage of bringing together the best football players from 32 national teams. All with the thirst to return to the World Cup grass after a year of delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With that drag Lionel Messi was crowned the most valuable player of 2022. He broke the string of Robert Lewandowski, who won the award in 2020 and 2021. The competition was not easy, the French Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema were the other nominees for the award at the ceremony on Monday.
“Is incredible. It was a tremendous year and it is an honor for me to be here tonight and win this award”, said the only player who has all the important football trophies. “I achieved a dream that I had been waiting for so long and I finally did it. It is a dream for any player, very few people can achieve it and I was lucky to do it ”, he concluded.
Lionel Scaloni experienced a similar situation, who had to dispute the recognition of best coach against ‘Carletto’ Ancelotti, the Real Madrid coach and Pep Guardiola, coach of the powerful Manchester City.
For his part, the best goalkeeper was Emiliano ‘Dibu’ Martínez, who dedicated the award to his parents and brother. “They worked 12, 13 hours a day to provide food for my house” while he was in the sport, said ‘Dibu’ to the cameras of the reporters present. His mother cleaned floors while his father worked at the port, in a truck “that was leaking water,” the athlete said.
The Argentine fans were not left out of the party. He won the prize for the best fans.
The albiceleste only sought one goal: the world cup. An objective that everyone was clear about, the common factor of the statements of the three prominent ones. While Scaloni stressed that the key to victory was teamwork, Messi highlighted the work of his teammates.
The glasses also witnessed Messi’s claims. “For me it was my last World Cup and I wanted to enjoy it to the fullest”, a sentence that opens the door to future debates about the end of the 35-year-old’s career.
Putellas, the most outstanding soccer player
Everywhere you turned in the theater there was a star, either retired or active.
In the women’s field, several awards were also given: Alexia Putellas won the trophy for the second year in a row. Putellas took it in the middle of a race with the English Beth Mead, from Arsenal and the American Alex Morgan, from the San Diego Wave club.
Mary Earps was chosen as the best goalkeeper, as well as Sarina Wiegman, the best coach.
The other FIFA awards
The Puskas award for the best goal of the year went to the Polish player Marcin Oleksy. This athlete lost his lower left leg in a work accident, which is why he plays in the amputee category. A half-volley goal supported on one of his crutches was enough to win the award.
At the gala, tribute was also paid to Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as ‘Pelé’, who died last December.
‘The Best’ has been awarded since 2017 after the breakup of the old ‘FIFA World Player’ award with the ‘Ballon d’Or’, awarded by the French publication ‘France Football’. A merger that tried to unify the criteria for who was the best player of the year.
With Reuters, AP and local media
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