In an opulent ceremony that saw a star-studded cast (sans Ronaldo) of footballing talent descend on Milanâ€™s Teatro alla Scala, the beautiful gameâ€™s foremost artistes saw their performances rewarded at The Best FIFA Football Awards in one of the globeâ€™s cultural centres.
Lionel MessiÂ andÂ Jurgen KloppÂ took home the leading honours for The Best FIFA Menâ€™s Player and Menâ€™s Coach respectively, after their outstanding 2018/19 campaigns which saw both scoop silverware and individual accolades galore. It was a bumper year for the USA asÂ Megan RapinoeÂ andÂ Jill EllisÂ were rewarded for their part in the Stars and Stripesâ€™ triumph at the FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup France 2019â„¢ as The Best FIFA Womenâ€™s Player and Womenâ€™s Coach respectively.
In an event very much geared towards celebrating the womenâ€™s game, to honour the legacy of the record-breaking France 2019,Â Sari van VeenendaalÂ was named the inaugural The Best FIFA Womenâ€™s Goalkeeper, joining her custodian counterpartÂ AlissonÂ who picked up The Best FIFA Menâ€™s Goalkeeper award.
There was recognition for a womenâ€™s â€˜dream teamâ€™ for the first time at The Best FIFA Football Awards, with FIFA and FIFPro combining for the first time to honour the FIFA FIFPro Womenâ€™s World11.
The recipients of the inaugural award were a veritable whoâ€™s who of France 2019, with the aforementionedÂ Sari van VeenendaalÂ joined by USA starsÂ Kelley Oâ€™Hara, Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle, Alex MorganÂ andÂ Megan RapinoeÂ as well as French duoÂ Wendie RenardÂ andÂ Amandine Henry, Brazilian legendÂ Marta, Englandâ€™s outstanding performerÂ Lucy BronzeÂ and Swedish rockÂ Nilla Fischer.
The FIFA FIFPro Menâ€™s World11 saw a number of new names enter the fray.Â AlissonÂ made his debut in the â€˜dream teamâ€™, alongside Dutch trioÂ Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de JongÂ andÂ Virgil van Dijk. The remainder of the side -Â Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian MbappeÂ andÂ Lionel MessiÂ – retained their place from the 2018 World11. Both star-studded line-ups were elected by thousands of players from across the globe.
The players had their say, and so did the fans, who voted forÂ the heartwarming story ofÂ Silvia GreccoÂ to take home the FIFA Fan Award. A public vote also determined the top three of the FIFA PuskÃ¡s Award, withÂ a panel of FIFA LegendsÂ ultimately choosingÂ Daniel Zsoriâ€™s remarkable overhead kick as a worthy goal of the year.
The FIFA Fair Play Award was taken home byÂ Marcelo Bielsa and the Leeds United squad, after the Argentinean coach and his team ultimately sacrificed promotion for his team to uphold the values of fair play â€“ instructing his Leeds United team to allow an equaliser after his side had gone 1-0 up with an opposition player down injured.
In an evening that saw the remarkable talents of the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra showcased as the musical entertainment, it was fitting that the orchestrators of beautiful music on pitches the world over were recognised as The Best inÂ Milano.
The Best, in full
Menâ€™s Player: Lionel Messi
Womenâ€™sÂ Player: Megan Rapinoe
Menâ€™sÂ Coach: Jurgen Klopp
Womenâ€™sÂ Coach: Jill Ellis
Menâ€™sÂ Goalkeeper: Alisson
Womenâ€™sÂ Goalkeeper: Sari van Veenendaal
PuskÃ¡sÂ Award: Daniel Zsori
FanÂ Award: Silvia Grecco
FairÂ PlayÂ Award: Marcelo Bielsa
Menâ€™s World11: Alisson; Matthijs de Ligt, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk; Frenkie de Jong, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi
Womenâ€™s World11: Sari van Veenendaal; Lucy Bronze, Nilla Fischer, Kelley Oâ€™Hara, Wendie Renard; Julie Ertz, Amandine Henry, Rose Lavelle; Marta, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe