It could be no other way. After a dream 2022 World Cup that saw Argentina beat France in the final and bring back glory to a nation that hadn’t won a World Cup since 1986, Lionel Messi and his teammates have now started to collect some of the individual trophies that celebrate the best of the past season of fútbol.
Messi was awarded The Best FIFA men’s Player Award for 2022. And as expected, he isn’t alone, with Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni and goalkeeper Emiliano Martìnez, being named best coach and best goalkeeper respectively.
Argentina’s fans would be happy with just that – they already have a World Cup trophy after all – but they got their own award, the so-called fan-award, for being the best supporters. It is, after all, hard to forget the chorus of Argentina chants present at every stadium of the World Cup, in every stage, whether the team was playing or not, much less the celebration back home after the actual win.
The awards were presented at a ceremony held in Paris on February 27th, which saw the three winning members of Argentina’s national team reunite and celebrate together. The Best FIFA Awards are a result of votes cast by national team captains and coaches, and a select group of journalists. France’s Kylian Mbappé, a teammate of Messi’s at PSG, came second in the best player award.
Messi also made FIFA’s Ideal 11, which puts together the best possible team for the year. It is the second time the Argentinian star has won the award. At 35, it might also be his last, as another run at the World Cup, to be held in 2026, seems unlikely. But just as Argentina kept getting up again and again during the World Cup they ended up winning, with Messi leading a squad that always believed they could win, even after losing the first game, there might still be one more run left in Messi. Either way, we won’t be the ones betting against him.
Congratulations to Lionel Messi and the rest of the Argentina team.