FIFA The Best: Football Awards 2022

The annual FIFA The Best 2022 gala took place in Paris on 27th February. The best players from season 2022 were given the honours of the most populous sport in the world. Lionel Messi won his record 7th FIFA Player of the Year award (most in history), while Alexia Putellas won her second consecutive FIFA The Best Women Player of the year.

Voting Process

Voting for the FIFA The Best Men’s awards were based on performances between August 2021 and December 2022 to incorporate the FIFA World Cup, which was held in Nov-Dec. The women’s awards voting was based on competitions taking place between August 2021 to July 2022, taking into account last summer’s Euro 2022 and Copa America 2022 championships.

The winners of The Best player, goalkeeper and coach awards were determined through a voting process in which four groups had an equal say: football fans, selected media representatives, national team captains and head coaches from around the globe.

As it Happened

The ceremony in Paris was started by tributes to Pelé, who died late last year at the age of 82 following a battle with colon cancer. Pelé’s wife, Marcia Aoki, received a trophy honoring the football legend from the hands of another Brazilian legend, Ronaldo Nazario.

There were 10 award categories in total, including the FIFPro World 11 all-star teams for men and women.

  • FIFA Player of the Year (Men’s)

Winner: Lionel Messi (PSG/Argentina)

After Messi won the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, there was little doubt that he would reclaim this award again after he last won it in 2019. Messi scored a total of 35 goals & gave 30 assists over the course of the calendar year in 51 appearances for both club and country. He was instrumental in leading PSG to the Ligue 1 title and led Argentina to the Finalissima title & their first World Cup glory after 36 long years. He was also given a record-second Golden Ball at the marquee event in Qatar. After winning the award, the magician had a few words. He said:

“It’s a pleasure to be back here,” Messi said in accepting the award. “I want to thank my teammates. [Lionel] Scaloni, Dibu [Martinez] – we’re representing them [Argentina teammates]. This award is partly theirs, and it’s a recognition of the whole group and what we did.

“This year was crazy for me to fulfill my dream [of winning the World Cup] after plenty of battling and insisting. In the end, it came. And it’s the greatest thing that has happened to me in my career. Few players get to do it [win the World Cup] and thank God. I was able to do it.”

His iconic battle in the World Cup Final with Kylian Mbappe will always be remembered for generations. He came runner-up with 44 points while Messi claimed 52.

Karim Benzema got third place with 34 points. He was the top scorer in both La Liga & UEFA Champions League and also won both competitions. He missed out on the World Cup due to injury in some controversial fashion and was also absent from the ceremony.

Also see: Football’s VAR vs Cricket’s DRS: Comparison Explained

  • FIFA Player of the Year (Women’s)

Winner: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona/Spain)

Alexia Putellas won her second consecutive FIFA The Best Women award after her amazing performances in the year 2022. She guided her team FC Barcelona to domestic titles but lost the UEFA Champions League Final. She missed out on Euro 2022 with an ACL injury.

She was caught by surprise when she won, as she wasn’t expecting it & admitted that she came unprepared for any kind of speech. She thanked all those people who were an influence in making her an incredible player.

A lot of people were of the opinion that English Beth Mead was a more deserving winner after her heroics in Euro 2022, leading her country to a title while also winning the Golden Boot & player of tournament awards. She finished third with 37 points, as most national team captains didn’t vote for her in the same numbers as national coaches.

Alex Morgan came in 2nd place with 37 points. She was NWSL’s top scorer and has continued to put in strong performances for the USA even after reaching 200 caps.


The best playing XI of the year 2022 for both men and women were voted by nearly 25,000 players from 68 countries around the world through FIFPro.

Messi made his record 16th appearance in the FIFPro XI, the most in the history of football.

The team was selected in the formation of one Goalkeeper, three defenders, three midfielders, three forwards and the one with the most votes.

FIFAPro World 11 (Women)

GK (1): Christiane Endler

DFs (4): Lucy Bronze, Maria Leon, Leah Williamson, Wendie Renard

MFs (3): Alexia Putellas, Keira Walsh, Lena Oberdorf

FWs (3): Alex Morgan, Sam Kerr, Beth Mead

FIFAPro World 11 (Men)

GK (1): Thibaut Courtois

DFs (3): Achraf Hakimi, Joao Cancelo, Virgil Van Dijk

MFs (3): Kevin De Bruyne, Luka Modric, Casemiro

FWs (4): Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, Karim Benzema

  • FIFA Coach of the Year (Men)

            Winner: Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)

Lionel Scaloni became the coach of the Argentinian side in 2018 on an interim basis having zero coaching experience. Who would’ve thought that the coach with nil experience would go on to win three major trophies in three years with Albicelestes? Their first major trophy in 28 years and a World Cup win after 36 years.

The other two veteran coaches, Carlo Ancelotti & Pep Guardiola, were influential for their teams by winning big titles for their respective clubs, but that didn’t convince the voters.

Scaloni claimed the award with 28 points, followed by Ancelloti at 17 and Guardiola at 12.

  • FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year (Men)

Winner: Emiliano ‘Dibu’ Martinez (Aston Villa/Argentina)

Dibu Martinez was the best goalkeeper at the World Cup in Qatar. His amazing saves in the penalty shootout of the quarter-final against the Netherlands & then in the final against France were enough to claim the Golden Glove. He was already the favourite to claim this award & got 26 points.

Thibaut Courtois had an amazing 2022 season. His saves in the successful UEFA Champions League Final 2022 and in La Liga 2021/22 throughout the season were brilliant. He came second with 20 points.

Yassine Bounou was voted as La Liga’s best ‘keeper in the 2021/22 season. He was an instrumental part in leading Morocco’s defence in their shock World Cup campaign to the semis. He came third with 14 points.

FIFA The Best Award Winners FULL LIST:

  • Best Fifa Men’s Player: Lionel Messi
  • Best Fifa Women’s Player: Alexia Putellas
  • Best Fifa Women’s Coach: Sarina Wiegman
  • Best Fifa Men’s Coach: Lionel Scaloni
  • Best Fifa Women’s Goalkeeper: Mary Earps
  • Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martínez
  • Fifa Puskás Award: Marcin Oleksy
  • Fifa Fan Award: Argentinian fans in Qatar
  • Fifa Fair Play Award: Luka Lochoshvili

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