Who voted for Messi, Mbappe, Putellas in Best FIFA Awards
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Who voted for Messi, Mbappe, Putellas in Best FIFA Awards

The Best FIFA Awards gala took place on Monday night with the great and good of the beautiful game descending upon Paris for one of football's most prestigious and clumsily named annual ceremonies.

The big winners on the night were Lionel Messi and Alexia Putellas, who were crowned best men's and best women's player of the year respectively while the equivalent coaching awards went to Lionel Scaloni of Argentina and Sarina Wiegman of England.

Elsewhere, Marcin Oleksy received the 2022 Puskas Award for his stunning volley in the Polish amputee league game between Warta Poznan and Stal Rzeszow.

- Olesky tells ESPN about wonder goal that won Puskas Award

As per usual, The Best FIFA Awards were dished out as a result of votes cast by fellow Players, national team captains and coaches, and a select group of esteemed football journalists.

After leading Argentina to World Cup glory in December, Messi unsurprisingly cantered to the top accolade by claiming 52 points in the vote -- far more than Kylian Mbappe (44) and Karim Benzema (34) in second and third.

FIFA published a full breakdown of the voting, so as curious onlookers we are able to sift through and pick out some of the more notable choices and patterns.

The Best FIFA Men's Player

Winner: Lionel Messi; 2nd: Kylian Mbappe; 3rd: Karim Benzema

Some of the many big names who voted for Messi were national captains Harry Kane (England), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Leonardo Bonucci (Italy), Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands), Robert Lewandowski (Poland) and former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets (Spain).

Among the national team coaches, Gareth Southgate (England), Roberto Mancini (Italy), Hansi Flick (Germany) and Roberto Martinez (Portugal) all voted for Messi, while France coach Didier Deschamps opted for Mbappe in somewhat predictable fashion.

As well as helping to anoint Messi, Scaloni also threw in a curious nod for Julian Alvarez as his second best player of the year -- the only vote received by the young Manchester City striker. Egypt skipper Mohamed Salah submitted a fairly unusual top three ballot too, naming Vinicius Junior as his player of the year ahead of Kevin De Bruyne and Achraf Hakimi.

France skipper Hugo Lloris kept things partisan by voting for fellow compatriots Mbappe and Benzema as his top two, with Messi as his third pick. Portugal captain Pepe also did his old cohort Cristiano Ronaldo a solid by not including Messi on his ballot slip at all, instead opting for Mbappe, Luka Modric and Benzema in that order.

Brazil captain Thiago Silva voted for Neymar in No. 1 with Messi in second and Benzema in third. Unable to vote for himself, Messi also voted for Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar as his The Best FIFA Men's player of the year.

Austria captain David Alaba managed to attract the scorn of Real Madrid fans by being the only Los Blancos player to vote for Messi ahead of Benzema. Such was the ire that the centre-back was later forced to explain that his vote slip represented the collective view of the entire Austria national squad, and not just his own personal opinion.

The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper

Winner: Emiliano Martinez; 2nd: Thibaut Courtois, 3rd: Yassine Bounou

Argentina's World Cup winner Martinez finished well clear of the chasing pack.

Martinez received votes from his own national team captain Messi, Busquets and Italy coach Mancini, while runner-up Courtois was selected by Kane, Modric (Croatia), Lloris and Neuer, who himself won the award back in 2020.

The Best FIFA Men's Coach

Winner: Lionel Scaloni; 2nd: Carlo Ancelotti; 3rd: Pep Guardiola

Scaloni's role in Argentina's historic triumph at the 2022 World Cup was recognised across the board as the Albiceleste coach received top votes from many of his peers, including a magnanimous pick from Deschamps, whose France team were beaten in the final in Qatar.

Messi also voted for Scaloni, who helped the 35-year-old maestro reach a new zenith in his international career at the World Cup, while France captain Lloris instead opted for Morocco boss Walid Regragui, who steered his underdogs further through a World Cup than any other African side in history in finishing fourth.

The Best FIFA Women's Player

Winner: Alexia Putellas; 2nd: Alex Morgan; 3rd: Beth Mead

The vote for the Best Women's Player award was much tighter than the male equivalent, with Barcelona and Spain lynchpin Putellas narrowly clinching the honours to become the first female player on record to win in consecutive years.

Putellas was voted for by the likes of Australia captain Sam Kerr (who finished just outside the top three herself) and her own national team skipper Ivana Andres while United States captain Becky Sauerbrunn ranked teammate Morgan above all else.

The Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper

Winner: Mary Earps; 2nd: Christiane Endler; 3rd: Ann-Katrin Berger

- Earps interview: How she became the best in the world

After playing a starring role in England's victory at the European Championship, Earps finished top of the field by a clear margin having attracted votes from the likes of Denmark captain Pernille Harder, Sweden veteran Caroline Seger and of course, Lionesses skipper Leah Williamson.

The Best FIFA Women's Coach

Winner: Sarina Wiegman; 2nd: Sonia Bompastor; 3rd: Pia Sundhage

Wiegman finished top of the poll after masterminding England's run to glory at Euro 2022. The Dutch coach's outstanding achievement was recognised by fellow coaching luminaries Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (Germany) and Pia Sundhage (Brazil).

For the record, Wiegman voted for Voss-Tecklenburg as her Best Coach with Lyon manager Sonia Bompastor in second and Chelsea stalwart Emma Hayes in third place.

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