Messi pips Mbappe and Benzema to Best FIFA Men’s Player award
Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina forward Lionel Messi has won the Best FIFA Men’s Player award for a second time.
Messi saw off competition from club-mate Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema to collect the award at Monday’s ceremony in Paris.
The award spans the period between the start of the 2021-22 season through to the end of the World Cup, which saw Messi end Argentina’s 36-year wait to win the competition.
Former Barcelona superstar Messi claimed the Golden Ball award in Qatar – given to the best player of the tournament – after scoring seven goals and assisting three more.
Those 10 direct goal involvements were matched by Mbappe, who finished as top scorer, but that was not enough to see the France forward win his first Best FIFA award.
Messi made a slow start to life at PSG by his own personal high standards, scoring 11 goals and assisting 14 in 34 games in his maiden campaign at the Parc des Princes.
However, the 35-year-old – who has also won a record seven Ballons d’Or – matched those figures in his first 18 games this season ahead of the World Cup.
Messi, who previously won the Best FIFA award in 2019, joins Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski as two-time winners, having also finished as a runner-up three times.