Megan Rapinoe acquired the Best women’s player award ahead of fellow American teammates Alex Morgan and England’s Lucy Bronze at the Best Fifa Football Awards in Milan.
Lionel Messi won his sixth FIFA player of the year award, while Megan Rapinoe won her first at the generous ceremony at Milan’s iconic Teatro all Scala on Monday.
Lionel Messi and Jurgen Klopp took home the leading honours for The Best FIFA Men’s Player and Men’s Coach respectively, after their outstanding 2018/19 campaigns which saw both scoop silverware and personal accolades galore. It was a bumper year for the USA as Megan Rapinoe and Jill Ellis were rewarded for their part in the Stars and Stripes’ triumph at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 as The Best FIFA Women’s Player and Women’s Coach respectively
Rapinoe was compensated at the FIFA Best awards for leading the United States to the women’s World Cup title in July, as was Jill Ellis who won the women’s coach award.
Rapinoe scored six goals in the tournament, earning her the Golden Boot for the tournament’s top scorer and the Golden Ball as the top player.
Rapinoe scored the game-winner in the final against The Netherlands, converting on a penalty kick in the 61st minute to put the U.S. up 1-0. The USWNT would eventually win 2-0 for their fourth World Cup, most by any nation.
Before handing the award to Rapinoe, Infantino himself said more would be done to stop racism in football. He said: “This is not acceptable. We have to say this. We have to say no to racism.
“In whatever form, no to racism in football, no to racism in society. But we can’t just say it, we must fight it, kick it out of football and society once and for all.”
She made a efficacious speech when collecting her award from Fifa president Gianni Infantino, Rapinoe highlighted racism, homophobia and inequalities that she said still exist in football.
She said: “Some of the stories that inspired me this year are [Manchester City forward] Raheem Sterling and [Napoli defender] Kalidou Koulibaly – their incredible performances on the field and their reaction to the disgusting racism they have to face, this year but probably for their whole lives.
“I feel like if we really want to have meaningful change, what I think is most inspiring would be if everybody other than Sterling and Koulibaly were as outraged about racism as they were.
“If everybody was as outraged about homophobia as the LGBTQ players, if everybody was as outraged about equal pay or the lack thereof, or the lack of investment in the women’s game, other than just women, that would be the most inspiring thing to me.
“We have such an incredible opportunity being professional footballers, so much success, an incredible platform.
“I ask everyone here, lend your platform to other people, share your success. We have a unique opportunity to use this game to actually change the world for better. I hope you take that to heart, do something, we have incredible power in this room.”
Fifa Fifpro Women’s Team of the Year
Goalkeeper: Sari van Veenendaal (Arsenal and Atletico Madrid/Netherlands)
Defenders: Lucy Bronze (Lyon/England), Wendie Renard (Lyon/France), Nilla Fischer (Wolfsburg and Linkopings/Sweden), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals/USA)
Midfielders: Amandine Henry (Lyon/France), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars/USA)
Attacking midfielders: Marta (Orlando Pride/Brazil), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit/USA), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC/USA)
Striker: Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/USA)