Spain’s Alexia Putellas voted best women’s player again

PARIS (AP) – Spain’s Alexia Putellas was named FIFA’s best player for the second consecutive year on Monday.

Putellas won the vote ahead of USA’s Alex Morgan and England’s Beth Mead, who led England to the 2022 European Championship title.

Barcelona playmaker Putellas made it into the top three again despite being injured days before Euros and missing the tournament.

Mead was the joint top scorer at Euro and was named player of the tournament. She suffered a serious knee injury while playing for Arsenal in November and could miss the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July.

Morgan, who finished second to teammate Megan Rapinoe in the 2019 poll, was Player of the Tournament as the USA won the CONCACAF W Championship last year. She was also the joint top scorer.

Earlier, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni was voted FIFA Men’s Coach of the Year after leading his team to the World Cup title in December.

The women’s coaching award went to Sarina Wiegman, who guided the Englishwoman to the European Women’s Championship title.

Scaloni took over Argentina on an interim basis at the end of 2018 and was widely criticized for his lack of experience as he had never coached a professional team. His contract as national coach was extended on Monday until the end of the 2026 World Cup.

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The other shortlisted managers were Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola.

The women’s goalkeeper award went to Euro winner Mary Earps of England and the men’s best goalkeeper was Argentina’s world champion Emiliano Martínez.

The Paris event was marked by tributes to Pelé, who died late last year at the age of 82 after a battle with colon cancer. Pelé’s wife Marcia Aoki received a trophy honoring football greatness from the hands of former Brazilian striker Ronaldo.

“I have three words for God who gave us Edson, for Edson for giving us Pelé, and for the world that received them so well: ‘Grateful, grateful and grateful,'” she said.

The Puskas award for best goal went to amputee Marcin Oleksy, who scored an acrobatic scissor kick goal for Warta Poznan last November.


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