Jürgen Klopp has become the third German to win The Best FIFA Men’s Coach. The coach of Champions League winners Liverpool FC prevailed in the FIFA-organised competition, ahead of Spanish star coach Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) and Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham Hotspur). Klopp joins fellow countrymen Jupp Heynckes (2013) and national team coach Joachim Löw (2014) as the only Germans to win the award since its establishment in 2010. Jill Ellis, head coach of the United States’ women’s national team, won The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2019 after the USA successfully defended their World Cup this year.
“No one would have thought that I would be standing here today 20 years ago, or ten years ago, or probably even four years ago,” Klopp said at the FIFA “The Best” Gala in Milan. “I want to thank many people, starting with my family, my fantastic club and not least my exceptional team. As a coach you can only be as good as your team is.”
Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who was one of the three finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper 2019, but unfortunately failed to claim the top prize. The 27-year-old, who plays his club football for Spanish champions FC Barcelona, ultimately came in second place to Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson (Liverpool FC).
In the competition for The Best FIFA Men’s Player, Lionel Messi took home the main award after losing out to Croatian midfielder Luka Modric last year. Modric’s win ended the ten-year reign of dominance of the award between five-time winners Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi won the Spanish league with Barcelona, reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, and also won the Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer.
Megan Rapinoe, the face of the Women’s World Cup in France this year, won The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2019, beating U.S. teammate Alex Morgan, as well as England’s Lucy Bronze. The 34-year old had already been awarded the Golden Ball for best player and the Golden Boot for top goalscorer (six goals) at the World Cup. In addition, the well-known activist made a powerful speech against racism, homophobia and gender discrimination.