Megan Rapinoe wins best women's player at FIFA Awards

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/olympics/rio-2016/a/1124356/" data-ylk="slk:Megan Rapinoe">Megan Rapinoe</a> took home the FIFA best women's player award. (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Megan Rapinoe took home the FIFA best women's player award. (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 are being awarded on Monday, after months of voting and winnowing down the finalists. It’s been a stupendous year in soccer worldwide, with the recent Women’s World Cup taking center stage with its high level of play, outstanding personalities, and overwhelming popularity.

A number of awards will be given out at the Milan ceremony, including best men’s player, best women’s player, best men’s and women’s coach, best goalkeeper, and more. So who took home the hardware?

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Megan Rapinoe wins best women’s player award

The competition was stiff, but USWNT star Megan Rapinoe won the trophy for best women’s player. She beat out her USWNT teammate Alex Morgan, and England’s Lucy Bronze.

Rapinoe had a phenomenal year, with the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup being a highlight. She finished the tournament with six goals and three assists, and won both the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball.

Rapinoe isn’t just a force on the pitch, though. She’s an outspoken advocate for equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and equal pay for women, and she was never shy about telling people what she stands for. She and many of her USWNT teammates are currently suing US Soccer for failing to pay them as much as the USMNT, a lawsuit that was filed earlier this year. She’s unafraid to call out people in power like Donald Trump and FIFA leadership. 2019 was Rapinoe’s year, and her dominance both on and off the field made it clear that it’s her world and we’re all just living in it.

Lionel Messi wins best men’s player award

We’ve narrowly avoided a Liverpool sweep on the men’s side, as Lionel Messi has taken home the best men’s player award. Messi has won the Ballon d’Or five times, but this is his very first best player award from FIFA.

And it’s certainly deserved. He is considered by (very) many to be the best soccer player in the world.

Mother of blind soccer fan wins FIFA fan award

Silvia Grecco, who lives in Brazil, won the FIFA fan award for her efforts to support the fandom of her son, Nikollas, who is blind. Since Nikollas can’t see, Silvia narrates matches for him and becomes his eyes. Nikollas is also autistic, and when Silvia brings him to Palmeiras games, he comes alive.

Brazilian soccer legend Marta was in attendance at the ceremony, and was seen wiping away tears when Silvia was given the award.

Ellis wins best women’s coach, Klopp takes home men’s trophy

Jill Ellis may be stepping down as USWNT coach, but she’s going out with the FIFA award for best women’s coach. Ellis became the first woman to win back-to-back World Cups when the USWNT took home the top prize this summer, which is such a tremendous accomplishment that it didn’t seem like anyone else had a chance.

Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool beat out Pep Guardiola of Manchester City and Mauricio Pochettino of Tottenham Hotspur to win the best men’s coach award. Klopp led Liverpool to its sixth European League title, and used his speech to thank his bosses for spending money on good players. And he didn’t forget to thank them: "I'm really proud to be the manager of such an incredible bunch of players.”

Alisson, van Veenendaal win goalkeeper awards

Sari van Veenendaal is the inaugural winner of the best women’s goalkeeper award, which has never been given out before. Van Veenendaal is one of the Dutch team captains and helped lead her team to a second-place finish at the Women’s World Cup in France. She also won the Golden Glove.

Alisson took the award on the men’s side. The Brazilian helped lead Liverpool to a Champions League title in just his first season with the club, and helped lead Brazil to the 2019 Copa America title.

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