Lionel Messi named world’s best player ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk

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    Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi was named as the FIFA World Player of the Year at the Best FIFA Football Awards in Milan on Monday night.
    Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk was heavily tipped to win the award after guiding Liverpool to the Champions League title but La Liga winner Messi pipped the Dutchman and Cristiano Ronaldo to the main award of the evening, replacing Luka Modric as the reigning best male player, to earn a record sixth title.
    Van Dijk’s manager Klopp had earlier been chosen as the Best Men’s Coach ahead of fellow Premier League managers Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino, while team-mate Alisson Becker was crowned as Best Goalkeeper ahead of Ederson and Marc Andre Ter Stegen.
    Megan Rapinoe earned the top women’s prize after her role in guiding the USA to World Cup glory, while England manager Phil Neville missed out on the women’s coach of the year award to USA’s Jill Ellis.

    Van Dijk’s compatriot Sari van Veenendaal won the Best Women’s Goalkeeper prize.
    Messi, however, didn’t have things all his own way. He was snubbed for the Puskas Award, with Debrecen’s Daniel Zsori instead claiming the prize for the best goal.
    Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa and his team won the fair play award for allowing Aston Villa to score a goal following a controversial strike being awarded to their team.

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