FIFA Award Ceremony Recap


Casey Held

The seventh edition of the FIFA awards show unfolded on Wednesday, February 27. The ceremony is held to commemorate all the accomplishments and achievements of players throughout world soccer during the year. Awards are given out to the best male and female player, the best male and female goalkeeper, and to the best male and female coach. The “Puskas” award, the “Fair Play” award, the “Best Fans” award and the FIFA Best XI for both men and women are all crowned as well.

This year, FIFA Men’s Best Player award went to none other than Lionel Messi. The winner of this award was not under much doubt, considering he captained his side to their first World Cup win since 1986, winning the Golden Ball during that run. He also currently has 25 g/a in Ligue 1 this season. The FIFA Women’s Best Player award was given to Alexia Putellas, who claimed her second of these awards, having won last year as well. She led Barceona to a league title and to a UEFA Champions League final appearance. Although missing Euro 2022 due to an injury, Putellas’ previous performances were enough to earn her the award.

Emiliano Martinez won the Men’s Best Goalkeeper award due to his superhuman performance at the 2022 World Cup. England’s Mary Earps won the Women’s Best Goalkeeper award due to her showing at the 2022 Euros, in which she led the Lionesses to their first ever major trophy. 

As you might have noticed already, Argentina was a common theme throughout the FIFA award ceremony. That trend doesn’t stop, as the Argentina fans picked up the “Best Fan” award. Lionel Scaloni, Argentina’s head coach, won the Best Men’s Coach award, and Sarina Wiegman, England’s head coach, earned herself the Best Women’s Coach award.

Every year, the Puskas award (named after former Hungarian legend, Ferenc Puskas) is given to the player who scored the best goal throughout the whole year. This year’s Puskas award went to Marcin Olesky, a Polish soccer player who plays in the Polish amputee league. Olesky became the first amputee to ever win this award after his acrobatic finish left viewers in awe, as it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime type of goal. His goal beat out many gorgeous goals, such as those from Dimitri Payet and Richarlison.

The Fair Play award isn’t always necessarily soccer related, as it is given to a player who has displayed exemplary sportsmanship and/or behavior on or off the field. This year, Georgian defender Luka Lochoshvili was given the award for his life-saving efforts in a match between Austria Wien and Wolfsberger AC. After suffering a head injury during a collision, Austrian right back Georg Teigl fell unconscious. Lochoshvili was the first to react, sprinting over after noticing the danger of the situation. Luka removed Teigl’s tongue from his throat just before medics arrived on the scene. Teigl was soon brought back to consciousness, and he even thanked Lochoshvili in an Instagram post, saying: “Thank you Luka Lochoshvili for your quick reactions. Your intervention may well have saved my life.”

And finally, the FIFA Best XI’s were introduced. The Women’s Best XI consisted of Christiane Endler, Lucy Bronze, Maria Leon, Leah Williamson, Lena Oberdorf, Alex Morgan, Beth Mead, and Sam Kerr. The Men’s Best XI consisted of Thibaut Courtois, Achraf Hakimi, Virgil van Dijk, Joao Cancelo, Kevin de Bruyne, Luka Modric, Casemiro, Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, and Lionel Messi.