Connect with us

La Liga

The Best FIFA awards: Live coverage as Messi, Putellas eye top honors

World football’s top players and managers of 2022 are being recognized at The Best FIFA Football Awards show on Monday. Below, theScore is tracking all the winners of the various trophies being handed out in Paris.

Best Women’s Goalkeeper


Mary Earps (Manchester United and England)

Earps, 29, back-stopped England to the Euro 2022 title on home soil, playing in all six of her country’s matches. Beating out competition from 2021 winner Christiane Endler and German shot-stopper Ann-Katrin Berger, Earps told the audience in Paris she didn’t expect to win the award, which no English woman had claimed before. Earps contemplated retirement after serving as England’s third-string ‘keeper at the 2019 World Cup. “Without rain, you don’t get rainbows,” she said.

Best Men’s Goalkeeper

Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa and Argentina)

The following awards are still to come today …

Best Men’s Player finalists

As was the case in the World Cup final, club teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe face off for the top men’s prize on offer, with reigning Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema also in the mix. This FIFA award, inaugurated in 2016 after the governing body’s split with Ballon d’Or organizer France Football, has gone to Messi just once before, in 2019. Can he double his total and get another one over on Mbappe?

  • Karim Benzema (Real Madrid and France)
  • Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain and France)
  • Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina)

Best Women’s Player finalists

Despite being sidelined since July with a torn ACL that forced her to miss last summer’s European Championship, Spanish superstar Alexia Putellas – the holder of both this award and the Ballon d’Or Feminin – leads the nominees once again. She’s joined by Arsenal forward Beth Mead, who led England to glory at Euro 2022 by claiming both top scorer and best player honors at the tournament, and American superstar and icon Alex Morgan.

  • Beth Mead (Arsenal and England)
  • Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave and United States)
  • Alexia Putellas (Barcelona and Spain)

Best Men’s Coach finalists

After guiding Argentina to the World Cup title, Lionel Scaloni headlines the finalists for the top men’s coach. He’s nominated alongside a pair of coaching titans in Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola. The Italian bench boss led Real Madrid to a Champions League and La Liga double last season, while Guardiola, now a three-time nominee for this piece of hardware, oversaw Manchester City’s fourth Premier League crown in five seasons.

  • Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid)
  • Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
  • Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)

Best Women’s Coach finalists

Sarina Wiegman, nominated in this category every year since 2017, could make history on Monday. The England manager, who finished third last time around, is looking to become the first person – male or female – to win FIFA’s top coaching prize three times. Sonia Bompastor, who led French giants Lyon to a league and Champions League double last season, and decorated tactician Pia Sundhage, now managing Brazil, are in contention.

  • Sonia Bompastor (Lyon)
  • Pia Sundhage (Brazil)
  • Sarina Wiegman (England)

Puskas Award finalists

This illustrious prize is given to the player “judged to have scored the most aesthetically pleasing goal, regardless of the competition in which it took place and the player’s gender or nationality.” Marcin Oleksy of Poland, the first-ever amputee footballer to be on the shortlist for the Puskas Award, scored a sensational scissor kick in November that quickly went viral, and garnered a message of support from compatriot Robert Lewandowski. He’s up against Dimitri Payet, the long-range shooting savant who added another great goal to his collection in April, and Richarlison, who lit up the World Cup in Qatar with a brilliant bicycle kick against Serbia.

Men’s FIFA FIFPro World11

To be announced.

Women’s FIFA FIFPro World11

To be announced.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

La Liga

How has Ronaldo fared in his first 5 matches in Saudi Arabia?

Cristiano Ronaldo said the project at Al Nassr was more enticing than multiple offers from European clubs. The Saudi Pro League was “very competitive” and thus enticing as the next step in his storied career.

The Portuguese superstar signed for Al Nassr on Dec. 30, 2022. Ronaldo stressed – publicly and repeatedly – that his main motivation during the autumn of his career was to play at the highest level. But then, as potential suitors dwindled after his tumultuous and disappointing World Cup showing, he opted to join a club that had an average attendance of just over 8,000 for the 2021-22 campaign. Money talks – and its voice is particularly loud when the contract is reportedly worth €200 million per year. Suddenly, Ronaldo adding to his Champions League scoring record and challenging for other top European honors wasn’t as important.

Strange as it may be to get used to, Ronaldo, 38, is now fully ensconced with Al Nassr, bringing his signature goal celebration and legions of fans along with him to Saudi Arabia. But how has he fared so far?

Here’s a game-by-game analysis and overall conclusion of Ronaldo’s opening five league matches for Al Nassr, starting with his debut against Al Ettifaq.

Jan. 22: Al Nassr 1, Al Ettifaq 0

  • Venue: Mrsool Park
  • Attendance: 22,862
Sam Bagnall – AMA / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Al Nassr supporters, who turned out in droves for Ronaldo’s official unveiling at the club, had to be patient. His debut in the league was delayed by a suspension stemming from his spell at Manchester United. When it finally arrived in the 1-0 home win over Al Ettifaq, it was a mixed bag. Immediately installed as captain by manager Rudi Garcia, Ronaldo led the line, playing alone up front in a 4-2-3-1 formation. He sometimes looked isolated and unable to link up with Brazilian attacking midfielder Talisca, the team’s incumbent talisman and leading scorer in the Saudi Pro League this season. Ronaldo had just three touches inside the opposition penalty area.

But there were encouraging flashes, including literal ones when he stood over a first-half free-kick and seemingly every fan in the stadium quickly whipped out their phones to try and catch a potentially memorable moment. His effort, however, missed the target. Ronaldo had a couple of looks at goal – an early shot from just outside the area was deflected away for a corner – and he nearly notched an assist for Pity Martinez early in the second half but was ultimately unable to mark his debut with a goal contribution.

Goals 0
Assists 0
Shot attempts 3
Shots on target 0
Chances created 1
Duels won 1
Passes attempted 27
Passing accuracy 85.2%

Rating: 6/10

Feb. 3: Al Fateh 2, Al Nassr 2

  • Venue: Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Sports City Stadium
  • Attendance: 17,631

Sandwiched between his debut against Al Ettifaq and his second league match versus Al Fateh, Ronaldo featured in a Saudi Super Cup loss to Al Ittihad. Following that contest, Garcia could sense that his players were trying a little too hard to find their illustrious new teammate on the pitch. “It’s very important that the players play normally and don’t always try to give the ball to Cristiano,” he explained, imploring them to make the “right decisions” in the final third of the field. The message seemed to get through. Al Nassr looked more at ease with Ronaldo headlining the team, and the veteran forward himself seemed more comfortable in his new surroundings.

There were the first real glimpses of a blossoming partnership with Talisca when, in the 24th minute, Ronaldo latched on to a deft flick from the Brazilian before unleashing a left-footed strike that careened off the post and into the net. But, despite his protestations and insistence that he was onside, the flag was up, and the goal was chalked off. Then, prior to the halftime interval, he smashed a close-range effort against the crossbar when it appeared easier to score. It looked like the wait for his first Al Nassr goal would go on, but in typical dramatic fashion, Ronaldo dispatched a penalty in the 93rd minute to salvage a point for his side. He was up and running.

Goals 1
Assists 0
Shot attempts 4
Shots on target 1
Chances created 2
Duels won 7
Passes attempted 25
Passing accuracy 72%

Rating: 6.5/10

Feb. 9: Al Wehda 0, Al Nassr 4

  • Venue: King Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium
  • Attendance: 27,102