Lionel Messi, Megan Rapinoe named Federation Internationale de Football Association players of the year

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Barcelona superstar Messi won The Best FIFA Men's Player award on Monday, pipping Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo to the honour.

Messi won the Best FIFA Men's Player of the Year for a record sixth time.

Rapinoe took the award on Monday ahead of global team-mate Alex Morgan, who matched her in scoring six times during the summer's tournament in France, and England's Lucy Bronze, who was the Silver Ball victor at the World Cup. "I ask everybody here to lend your platform, to lift people up, to use this lovely game to change the world for better".

"I'm a little bit at a loss for words, if you can believe it, it rarely happens to me", said Rapinoe who went on to make a plea against racism and for women's rights.

"That's my ask of everybody".

"I ask everyone here, lend your platform to other people, share your success".

"It is great, nobody expected this 20, 10, five, four years ago that I would be standing here", said Klopp. "I am very proud to be here", quoted van Dijk as saying.

It was a significant shock for the soccer followers after they noticed Messi receiving the award, which was created in 2016 for the primary time, as everybody was anticipating Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk to be chosen as the flawless.

The Portuguese forward chose to snub the ceremony, instead sharing a picture of himself at home with a book.

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The duo has dominated the award since 2008, with their string of victories only interrupted by Croatia's Luka Modric past year.

Van Dijk had been bidding to become just the second defender - after Italian Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 - to be recognised by Federation Internationale de Football Association as the world's best player.

Aaron Long, given the USA captain's vote, because he was among two players who wore the armband twice this year, voted for van Dijk, as did American coach Gregg Berhalter.

As well as helping his club win the Champions League last season and claiming the Premier League's Golden Glove with 21 clean sheets in 38 matches, Alisson was also part of the Brazil side that won the Copa America over the summer.

"I want to thank those who gave this prize to me", Messi said. "I'm disappointed for him".

Liverpool's Juergen Klopp was voted men's coach of the year while USA national team coach Jill Ellis took home the best women's coach trophy.

She beat fellow co-captain Alex Morgan and England's Lucy Bronze.

"I hope you take that to heart, do something, anything". Ten players - all present on the stage - lined up.

Germany and Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer omitted both Messi and Ronaldo as he went for Van Dijk, followed by Mane and Hazard.