Lionel Messi was named Fifa player of the year 2022 on Monday as Argentina scooped all the major men’s awards after winning a vintage World Cup final last December.
The 35-year-old forward scored two goals in the final against France, with the South Americans emerging triumphant on penalties following a 3-3 draw after extra time in Qatar.
“It’s amazing. It was a tremendous year and it is an honour for me to be here tonight and win this award”, said Messi, who sat next to France forward and PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe throughout the ceremony at Paris’ Salle Pleyel.
Mbappe, also nominated for the highly anticipated award of the night, netted a hat-trick in the World Cup final but his achievement was overshadowed as Messi finally won the most coveted trophy in world football.
“I want to express my thanks to (coach Lionel) Scaloni and my teammates, without them I would not be here,” Messi added. “I achieved a dream I had been hoping for so long and finally I achieved it. It’s a dream for any player, very few people can achieve that and I was lucky enough to do so.”
His compatriots, Scaloni and Emiliano Martinez won the coach of the year and keeper of the year awards, respectively, and their supporters even got the best fans prize.
Among the other honours, England were rewarded for their victorious women’s Euro 2022 campaign.
Spain’s Alexia Putellas was named women’s player of the year.