The Milan was full of football stars as the Best Awards were scheduled to take place at Teatro Alla Scalla on 23rd September. One of the most prestigious awards in the football world, it is also the most anticipated one for many footballers too. The main award is gonna be The BEST player award which is a competition between Lionel Messi, Virgil Van Dijk, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Though Van Dijk won the UEFA player of the year award, it will be difficult for him to do that again as he is up against Ronaldo who won Serie A and Nations League both and scored 28 goals in his first season at Juventus. His other competitor is Lionel Messi who won the golden boot for La Liga and UEFA Champions League while scoring 51 goals in his single season.
Virgil van Dijk, who probably had a fair shake of winning is apparently only the seventh-best player in the world (based on his performances in 2018-19), while two players above him, Neymar and Raheem Sterling, were not even on the original 10-man shortlist.
The night began at the Green Carpet (Not Red cause Green symbolizes football pitch) as the managers, players and various other sports-related entities started pouring in the opera house.
The first award up for the night was the Pukas Award for the best goal scored. The nominees in the category were Messi, Quintero, and Zsori among the few. The winner of this award was Daniel Zsori (surprisingly) as he had scored a stunning overhead kick from the edge of the box in the 93rd minute of his professional debut. That does tick a few boxes.
Next up on the award list is BEST men’s coach award featuring Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, and Mauricio Pochettino. The winner in this one was Jurgen Klopp and rightly so. Winning Champions league does get you a sure spot as a winner.
Later on, they distributed the awards for BEST women’s goalkeeper award and Fair play award. Sari Van Veenendaal and Leed United wins their award respectively. Leeds United let Aston Villa score unopposed after Mateusz Klich had scored for Leeds while a Villa player was down injured. This is definitely up there on the top.
FIFA FIFPRO WORLD 11 (women) has now been displayed. All the best women footballers. The team includes Sari van Veenendaal, Lucy Bronze, Wendie Renard, Nilla Fischer, Kelley O'Hara, Amandine Henry, Julie Ertz, Marta, Rose Lavelle, Megan Rapinoe & Alex Morgan. The best 11 of the women’s world of football and each and everyone on this team sheet is rightfully deserving.
Peter Schmeichel had backed for Ederson to win the Men’s BEST goalkeeper award but it turns out it was the other Brazilian who took the trophy home as Alisson was claimed as the winner of this one. Jose Mourinho got up on stage too, but to give the award for the BEST coach in the woman’s category. Phil Neville loses by a close deal to Jill Ellis of USA.
Then it was the Men’s FIFA FIFPRO 11 and the names on the squad list are Alisson, Matthijs de Ligt, Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk, Marcelo, Luka Modric, Frenkie de Jong, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Hazard. The youngsters and the veterans are all in this team making the average of this team’s 11 to be 28yr. Real Madrid has 4 players from their team in this 11 while Liverpool, Barcelona, and Juventus each get 2 players to their name.
The final and the most awaited award of the night was BEST Men’s player with each of the three nominees being outstanding in their respective seasons. Though the winner this time is not Virgil Van Dijk as Lionel Messi takes the stage after he is declared the winner. Van Dijk is the runner up as Cristiano Ronaldo has come as 2nd runner up amongst the three. According to the voting stats, Messi received 46 points, Van Dijk received 38 and Ronaldo received 36 of the ranking points. In the end, it was Messi who came out as the big winner.