Lionel Messi has been crowned The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2022.
The Argentina and Paris St Germain superstar has been bestowed with the honour following a landmark year in which he inspired his nation to FIFA World Cup™ glory. Messi was presented with the prize at The Best FIFA Football Awards™ ceremony in Paris, having come out on top in the voting ahead of finalists Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema.
The award was voted for by national team coaches and captains as well as expert journalists and supporters across the globe. Messi also won 2019 Best FIFA Men’s Player award and becomes the third player to receive the accolade twice, after Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski.
Messi produced a series of mesmeric performances during Argentina’s triumphant World Cup campaign. The genius number 10 was Argentina’s talisman in Qatar, scoring seven goals – including a brace in that unforgettable final win over France – and providing three assists during the tournament. His stirring leadership was also frequently cited by team-mates as an integral factor in their success. Messi’s inspirational influence was underlined when he was awarded the Golden Ball prize for the competition’s best player. Messi, who also won the accolade at Brazil 2014™, became the first player to receive the honour twice. The attacker also overtook German legend Lothar Matthaus as the World Cup’s record appearance holder.
At club level, Messi swiftly settled into life with Paris St Germain after leaving Barcelona in summer 2021. He was a key figure as PSG won the Ligue 1 title in his debut season and has continued to provide regular game-changing contributions for the French side in 2022/23. Messi’s World Cup triumph defined his year, however, as he lit up the game’s grandest stage and lifted the trophy he coveted above all others.
Messi produced a virtuoso display as Argentina and France contested the most dramatic World Cup final of all-time. He scored twice and was also on target in the decisive penalty shootout.
Having suffered a shock opening-day defeat to Saudi Arabia, Argentina’s World Cup hopes were hanging by a thread when they faced Mexico in their second group-stage game. The game was deadlocked at 0-0 midway through the second half when Messi made the breakthrough with a precise low drive to ignite his nation’s tournament.
At club level, Messi ended a 21-year association with Barcelona when he left the Catalan club for Paris St Germain in August 2021. He opened his goalscoring account for his new team in style, with a stunning strike in a heavyweight UEFA Champions League clash with Manchester City.