The Argentine football team’s captain Lionel Messi, goalkeeper Emiliano “el Dibu” Martínez, coach Lionel Scaloni, and their fans are among the finalists for FIFA’s The Best awards, which will be announced today in a ceremony in Paris.
Argentine legend and World Cup champion Lionel Messi is in the shortlist for Best Player of 2022 in the Men’s category, together with his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappé and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.
Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martínez, whose performance as Argentina’s goalie in the World Cup won him FIFA’s Golden Glove, is nominated for Best Goalkeeper together with Yassine Bounou (Morocco/Sevilla FC) and Thibaut Courtois (Belgium/Real Madrid CF).
Lionel Scaloni, who has just renewed his contract to continue as head coach of the Argentine team, is among the finalists for the Best Coach, sharing the nomination with Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti, from Manchester City and Real Madrid, respectively.
The Argentine fans will also compete for the Best FIFA Fan award for drawing impressive numbers in Qatar and providing “incredible support for their team’s ultimately victorious FIFA World Cup campaign”. FIFA also acknowledged the millions of fans who “welcomed their heroes home to Buenos Aires and across the country.”
The category also includes Japanese national team fans and Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Al Salmi, who “journeyed by foot from his hometown of Jeddah to Qatar, hiking across the Saudi Arabian desert, to support his national team at the FIFA World Cup.”
Carlos Pascal, better known to Argentine hinchadas (fanbase) as “El Tula”, will represent the Argentine fandom. The 82-year-old has been to every World Cup that Argentina has won, and is famous for cheering the team on with his drum.
The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony is scheduled to start today on 9 p.m. CET / 8 p.m. GMT / 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT. The ceremony can be watched live on FIFA+ channel. In Argentina, it will be broadcast in Argentina by TyC Sports and ESPN, live from the Salle Pleyel in Paris.