Lionel Messi and Megan Rapinoe voted best players of the year

In competition with Dutch defender Liverpool, Virgil Van Dijk, the Argentine was not the favorite. On December 2, the two players will compete for the Golden Ball.

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Lionel Messi and Megan Rapinoe pose with their trophies, in Milan. Antonio Calanni / AP

This is a small surprise: the Argentinian Lionel Messi, legend of world football and FC Barcelona, ​​received Monday, September 23, in Milan the Fifa The Best prize of best player of the year.

The favorite was Dutch defender Liverpool Virgil Van Dijk, named a month ago UEFA player of the year. The two men should also compete for the Golden Ball, which will be awarded on December 2nd. The third finalist was Cristiano Ronaldo, absent in Milan.

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"I want to thank everyone who voted for me. Individual prices are a secondary thing for me. The important thing is the collective. But it's a special moment for me to be here with my wife and two of my three children "said Messi. The Argentinian finished top European scorer (36 goals) of the season and Spanish champion with Barça. But he stopped in the semifinals of the Champions League.

Rapinoe victorious

In women, the prize was awarded to American Megan Rapinoe, world champion last summer in France with her selection. She defeated her compatriot Alex Morgan, with whom she won the World Cup, and the British Lucy Bronze.

The 34-year-old won the Golden Shoe for being the top scorer in the competition and also received the Golden Ball for the tournament's best player.

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"We have a unique opportunity to use this beautiful game to change the world for the better", said in his Rapinoe speech, committed in particular to the fight for LGBT rights and gender equality. " Do something. Do anythingshe asked the audience.


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