Lionel Messi and Megan Rapinoe take Fifa player of the year awards

Barcelona forward wins the award for a sixth time ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo

Megan Rapinoe is presented with her Fifa women’s player of the year award from Fifa president Gianni Infantino at La Scala opera house in Milan. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

Megan Rapinoe is presented with her Fifa women’s player of the year award from Fifa president Gianni Infantino at La Scala opera house in Milan. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

 

Barcelona star Lionel Messi beat Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo to win the best Fifa player of the year award for a record sixth time on Monday.

Messi, who won the La Liga title with Barcelona last season as well as the European golden boot, last won the award in 2015.

His win is somewhat of a surprise with Van Dijk, who transformed Liverpool’s defence on the way to the Champions League crown, having won the European best player award.

Messi’s win at the La Scala opera house in Milan also marks a return to the dominance of the Argentine and Ronaldo, who between them have won the award all but once since 2007.

Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi reacts after winning the Fifa player of the year award in Milan. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images
Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi reacts after winning the Fifa player of the year award in Milan. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

US co-captain Megan Rapinoe won the women’s top award after helping her country to the World Cup title this year.

She beat fellow co-captain Alex Morgan and England’s Lucy Bronze.

Outgoing US boss Jill Ellis took the women’s coaching award ahead of England’s Phil Neville.

Ellis became the first coach in history to win two Women’s World Cups over the summer, having also overseen the US triumph in 2015.

Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp was named men’s coach of the year.

Klopp guided his side to Champions League glory last season, while the Reds narrowly missed out on the Premier League title, being pipped by Manchester City.

The German claimed the award ahead of Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, whose team Liverpool defeated in the Champions League final, and City’s Pep Guardiola.

Klopp said: “Mauricio – we won that game, that’s why I’m here, not you. That’s how football is, but we all know what an incredible job you did, what an incredible job Pep did, what so many coaches out there did.

“I have to say thank you to my outstanding club, Liverpool FC, to the owners, I have to say they gave me an incredible team, and I have to thank my team, because as a coach you only can be as good as your team is.

“I’m really proud of being the manager of such an incredible bunch of players.”

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