FIFA Best Awards: Lionel Messi and Alexia Putellas honored as best men’s and women’s footballers

(CNN) Lionel Messi and Alexia Putellas were named the best players in men’s and women’s football at FIFA’s annual awards ceremony in Paris on Monday.

Messi, who led Argentina to the World Cup at the end of last year, was honored as the best FIFA player for the second time, while Spanish midfielder Putellas was named the best FIFA women’s player for the second consecutive year.

National team coaches and captains, as well as a worldwide panel of journalists and supporters, vote on the awards each year.

Messi, 35, finished ahead of Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappé and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema in the voting for the men’s award.

“I achieved a dream I had hoped for for so long,” said Messi, reflecting on Argentina’s World Cup victory. “It’s a dream for every player, very few people can achieve it and I was lucky enough to do it.”

In the World Cup final, Messi scored twice as Argentina and France drew 3-3 after extra time before Argentina won on penalties.

Messi also scored six goals in 26 games as his PSG side won a record 10th Ligue 1 title.

In his voting capacity as Argentina captain, Messi chose PSG teammate Neymar as the best men’s player ahead of Mbappé and Benzema.

Putellas, meanwhile, scored 34 goals in all competitions last season and led Barcelona to a domestic treble and a place in the Champions League final against eventual winners Lyon.

Putellas collects FIFA Women’s Player of the Year award.

The 29-year-old, who missed the European Championships with an ACL injury, finished ahead of US international Alex Morgan and England striker Beth Mead in the voting.

She also becomes the first player to win the women’s award twice.

In addition to Messi, two other Argentines – goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and coach Lionel Scaloni – were honored at the award ceremony, while England goalkeeper Mary Earps and coach Sarina Wiegman were recognized on the women’s side.

The Puskás Award for the best goal in men’s and women’s football went to Polish amputee star Marcin Oleksy for an outrageous scissor kick while playing for Warta Poznan in November.

“I connected very cleanly. It was clean,” Oleksy said of his goal.

“When I hit it, I followed the ball all the way with my eyes and I saw it go into the corner of the net. I’ve always wanted to score a beautiful goal. You could see how proud it made me after I scored. I left me, I stuck my chest out. I was just so, so happy.”

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