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Messi wins as Liverpool shines at FIFA best awards

The Best Fifa Football Awards held in Milan yesterday with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi taking home  the best men’s player with a record that shows he scored 54 goals in 58 games for Barcelona and Argentina during the 2018-19 season

The 32-year-old Argentine helped Barcelona win the La Liga and got to the semi-finals of the Champions League thereby merited the award for the sixth time, after wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.

In the Women category, United States forward Megan Rapinoe won the best women’s player award as Liverpool’s manager, he clinched the coach prize ahead of Guardiola and Pochettino after a season in which they beat Tottenham 2-0 to lift the Champions League.

The Reds also finished second in the Premier League with 97 points – the third-highest tally recorded in the competition.

“It is great, nobody expected this 20, 10, five, four years ago that I would be standing here,” said Klopp, whose team have won all six league matches at the start of the 2019-20 season.

In accepting the award, Klopp announced that he is joining the Common Goal initiative set up by Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata. It means the Reds boss will donate 1% of his salary to the charity, which pledges to “generate social change and improve lives”.

In other awards, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was also a winner as he took the best goalkeeper prize ahead of Manchester City’s Ederson and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen. As well as success in the Champions League, Alisson was first choice for Brazil as they lifted the Copa America on home soil.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa won the fair play award after he ordered his team to allow Aston Villa to score an uncontested equaliser after Bielsa’s side had gone ahead controversially when the Villa players stopped as they expected the ball to be kicked out of play when Jonathan Kodjia was injured, before the Argentine intervened.

Eighteen-year-old Daniel Zsori won the Puskas award for the best goal with his spectacular 93rd-minute overhead kick for Debrecen against Ferencvaros, just after he came on as a substitute for his Hungarian league debut in February.

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