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Rapinoe and Messi win FIFA Player of the Year awards

Flavio Lo Scalzo, REUTERS | Monday's award caps an extraordinary summer for Team USA's co-captain Megan Rapinoe.

Lionel Messi beat Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and old rival Cristiano Ronaldo to win FIFA's player of the year award for a record sixth time on Monday, while USA's Megan Rapinoe took the women's award after leading her country to the World Cup title.

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Messi, who won the Spanish La Liga title with Barcelona last season as well as the European golden boot, last won the award in 2015.

His win is somewhat of a surprise with Van Dijk, a centre back who transformed Liverpool's defence on the way to the Champions League crown, having won the European best player award.

Between them, Messi and Ronaldo have won the award all but once since 2008.

In the women's category, Rapinoe claimed the top award after helping her country to back-to-back World Cup titles this year.

Team USA's 34-year-old co-captain, who won the Golden Boot (best scorer) and Golden Ball (best player) at the World Cup, beat teammate Alex Morgan and England's Lucy Bronze.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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