Sunday 16 February, 2020

Messi wins record sixth FIFA player of the year

Argentinian Barcelona player Lionel Messi receives the Best FIFA men's player award from FIFA president Gianni Infantino during the ceremony of the Best FIFA Football Awards, in Milan's La Scala theater, northern Italy, Monday, September 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Argentinian Barcelona player Lionel Messi receives the Best FIFA men's player award from FIFA president Gianni Infantino during the ceremony of the Best FIFA Football Awards, in Milan's La Scala theater, northern Italy, Monday, September 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Lionel Messi won his sixth FIFA player of the year award, while Megan Rapinoe won her first at a lavish ceremony at Milan's iconic Teatro all Scala on Monday.

Rapinoe was rewarded at the FIFA Best awards for leading the United States to the women's World Cup title in July, as was Jill Ellis who won the women's coach award.

Rapinoe scored six goals in the tournament, earning her the Golden Boot for the tournament's top scorer and the Golden Ball as the top player.

United States forward Megan Rapinoe arrives to attend the Best FIFA awards, in Milan's La Scala theater, northern Italy, on Monday (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Messi's award moved the Barcelona and Argentina forward one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was also among the three finalists.

The duo has dominated the award since 2008, with their string of victories only interrupted by Luka Modric last year.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was the other finalist.

His club manager J├╝rgen Klopp was named coach of the year after steering Liverpool to the Champions League title in June.

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