Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo & Virgil Van Dijk to bag Men’s player of the year award at the FIFA – The Best Football Awards. Megan Rapinoe (USA) won the women’s title.

It is the first time that Messi has won the FIFA Best Award which was created in 2016. Ronaldo won for 2016 and 2017, with Croatian Luka Modric beating both last years. The Barcelona star scored more league goals than anyone else in Europe last season, registering 36 times as he helped the Spanish side win another La Liga title. Messi was also the top scorer in the Champions League with 12 goals.

Messi’s name came as a surprise to a few in Milan as Liverpool’s Uefa player award winner Virgil Van Dijk was believed to be the frontrunner. These two combined with Cristiano Ronaldo have also been shortlisted for the Ballon D’Or award which will be announced on December 2. The star of the night said, “I want to thank those who decided to give me this recognition. The most important thing for me is the collective awards, but today is also a very special night for me.”

Who do you think will bag the prestigious Ballon d’Or?