Lionel Messi Named World Player Of The Year In World Soccer Awards
Lionel Messi is World Soccer’s World Player of the Year for 2019, edging out Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk in one of the closest contests of recent times. It is Messi’s fifth World Soccer award – after victories in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 – equalling the achievement of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi’s astonishing form for Spanish title-winners Barcelona gave him the edge over the Champions League-winning Liverpool and Holland defender in a poll of journalists and pundits from around the world.
Messi won a 10th Liga title with Barca in May, but they were surprisingly beaten by Valencia in the Final of the Copa del Rey. And despite a wonderful performance from the Argentinian against Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals, they were beaten by an incredible comeback from Van Dijk and his team-mates in the return leg at Anfield.
In the summer’s Copa America, Messi’s Argentina lost to hosts Brazil in the semi-finals and suffered from some questionable refereeing in the third-place play-off against Chile, when Messi was controversially sent off.
In addition to his stellar displays in Liverpool’s Champions League success, Van Dijk was a standout performer for Holland as they reached the Final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League.
Liverpool players featured heavily in the poll, with votes also cast for Sadio Mane (3rd place), Mohamed Salah (6th), Allison Becker (7th), Roberto Firmino (17th) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (19th). In contrast, Frenkie De Jong (8th), who joined from Ajax in the summer, was the only other Barcelona player to feature in the top 20.
Last year’s winner of the World Player award, Luka Modric, finished 44th this time, while Cristiano Ronaldo – a winner in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 – finished in fourth place, ahead of Kylian Mbappe, the French youngster who has eclipsed Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain.
The spectacular form of Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski in the second half of 2019 was recognised with his ninth-place finish, while Eden Hazard’s role in Chelsea’s Europa League triumph over Arsenal was acknowledged by votes that put him in joint 10th place.
Raheem Sterling, also in joint 10th, was the highest-placed Manchester City player, a recognition of his sparking form in the Premier League but also of his increasing importance to England.
A number of women featured, the highest being American World Cup star Megan Rapinoe in 21st place, with USA team-mate Rose Lavelle 27th.
The nationalities were spread around, with nine different countries represented in the top 10. England and Holland were the leading nationalities, with three each in the top 20: Sterling, Harry Kane and Alexander-Arnold for England; Van Dijk, De Jong and Matthijs De Ligt for Holland. They were ahead of, with two each, Argentina (Messi and Sergio Aguero), Portugal (Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva), Brazil (Roberto Firmino and Alisson) and Belgium (Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne).
Jurgen Klopp was the undisputed winner of the Manager award with the highest-ever percentage of votes, in acknowledgement of steering Liverpool to a sixth European Cup triumph.
Similarly, Liverpool were the overwhelming winners of the World Team award, with votes also cast for Ajax, Manchester City and USA’s World Cup-winning women’s national side.
1 Lionel Messi, Barcelona & Argentina 613
2 Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool & Holland 602
3 Sadio Mane, Liverpool & Senegal 366
4 Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus & Portugal 307
5 Kylian Mbappe, PSG & France 216
6 Mohamed Salah, Liverpool & Egypt 200
7 Alisson Becker, Liverpool & Brazil 154
8 Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich & Poland 142
9 Frenkie De Jong, Ajax/Barcelona & Holland 140
10= Eden Hazard, Chelsea/Real Madrid & Belgium 126
10= Raheem Sterling, Manchester City & England 126
12 Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City & Belgium 92
13 Matthijs De Ligt, Ajax/Juventus & Holland 71
14 Harry Kane, Tottenham H & England 68
15 Bernardo Silva, Manchester City & Portugal 51
16 Son Heung-min, Tottenham H & S Korea 48
17 Roberto Firmino, Liverpool & Brazil 45
18 Dusan Tadic, Ajax & Serbia 31
19 Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool & England 28
20 Sergio Aguero, Manchester City & Argentina 25
21 Megan Rapinoe, Reign & United States 24
22 Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Barcelona & Germany 19
23 Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City & Algeria 14
24 Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid/Barcelona & France 13
25 Everton Soares, Gremio & Brazil 12
26 Ederson, Manchester City & Brazil 10
27= Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli & Senegal 9
27= Rose Lavelle, Washington Spirit & United States 9
27= Luis Suarez, Barcelona & Uruguay 9
30= Jackie Groenen, Frankfurt/Manchester Utd & Holland 8
30= Bruno Henrique, Flamengo & Brazil 8
30= N’Golo Kante, Chelsea & France 8
33= Christian Eriksen, Tottenham Hotspur & Denmark 7
33= Donny Van de Beck, Ajax & Holland 7
33= Gabriel Barbosa, Flamengo & Brazil 7
33= Sofia Jakobsson, Montpellier/Tacon & Sweden 7
37= Karim Benzema, Real Madrid & France 6
37= Amandine Henry, Lyon & France 6
37= Luka Jovic, Eintracht Frankfurt/Real Madrid & Serbia 6
40= Akram Afif, Al Sadd & Qatar 5
40= Lucy Bronze, Lyon & England 5
40= Paulo Dybala, Juventus & Argentina 5
40= Hugo Lloris, Tottenham H & France 5
40= Jan Oblak, Atletico Madrid & Slovenia 5
44= Leonardo Bonucci, Juventus & Italy 4
44= Fabinho, Liverpool & Brazil 4
44= Joao Felix, Porto/Atletico Madrid & Portugal 4
44= Aymeric Laporte, Manchester City & France 4
44= Luka Modric, Real Madrid & Croatia 4
44= Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain & Brazil 4
44= Asisat Oshoala, Barcelona & Nigeria 4
51= Ismael Bennacer, Empoli/Milan & Algeria 3
51= Giorgio Chiellini, Juventus & Italy 3
51= Erling Haaland, Red Bull Salzburg & Norway 3
51= Lorenzo Insigne, Napoli & Italy 3
51= Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride & United States 3
56= Barbara Bonansea, Juventus & Italy 2
56= Dani Alves, Paris Saint-Germain/Sao Paulo & Brazil 2
56= Hector Herrera, Porto/Atletico Madrid & Mexico 2
56= Zlatan Ibrahimovic, LA Galaxy & Sweden 2
56= Lucas Moura, Tottenham Hotspur & Brazil 2
56= Marco Reus, Bor Dortmund & Germany 2
56= Andy Robertson, Liverpool & Scotland 2
56= Hakim Ziyech, Ajax & Morocco 2
64= Yui Hasegawa, Nippon TV Beleza & Japan 1
64= Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers & Mexico 1
64= Christian Pulisic, Borussia Dortmund/Chelsea & United States 1
64= Marcus Rashford, Manchester United & England 1
64= Thiago Alcantara, Bayern Munich & Spain 1
64= Georginio Wijnaldum, Liverpool & Holland 1
64= Eran Zahavi, Guangzhou R&F & Israel 1
WORLD MANAGER OF THE YEAR
1 Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) 67
2 Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) 2
WORLD TEAM OF THE YEAR
1 Liverpool 60
2= Ajax 3
2= Manchester City 3
2= USA women 3
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