England’s Mary Earps and Sarina Wiegman pick up best goalkeeper and best manager at FIFA Awards
It wasn't just a special occasion for the two winners: it was night of recognition for the entire England team.
Mary Earps and Sarina Wiegman were handed best goalkeeper and best women’s coach during Monday night’s Best FIFA Football Awards 2022 following their incredible Euro 2022 campaign.
The Lionesses coach and Manchester United keeper picked up their respective awards after having played a huge role in bringing home England’s first major international trophy since 1966.
Stepping up to receive her accolade first, Earps looked pretty taken aback by the win, even joking that she would have worn a different dress had she thought she was in with a shot.
Nevertheless, it was her deeply personal and emotive speech that touched both those in the crowd and watching at home, thanking her family for having “picked [her] up off the kitchen floor” during difficult times and dedicating the award to “anyone who’s ever been in a dark place”.
Deeply moving and inspiring stuff.
The 29-year-old — who nearly retired from football all together after being dropped from the national squad back and left as third-choice keeper for the 2019 World Cup — made sure to heap praise on her fellow England teammates and, of course, Wiegman herself, who helped bring her back into the fold.
After also giving a nod to the staff at United, Earps admitted she’d “run out of words to say thanks” to Wiegman for giving her a chance to fight for her place and for “believing in [her] the way [she has]”.
As for Sarina herself, the Dutch coach was just quick to shift the recognition onto her team, fellow staff members and the FA, insisting that “this award is for all of us”.
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Describing herself as a person who simply loved the sport from the moment she could walk, the 53-year-old said, “it’s just incredible to be here right now and celebrate women’s football in the world”.
Having seen the game grow and develop over the years, Weigman went on to say: “we have heroes now: they’re all in the room. Little girls have their idols, they have inspiration… so many people across the world have so worked hard to get the game where it is right now and I want to thank them for that”.
Elsewhere on the night, Lionel Messi was unsurprisingly named as the men’s player of the year after having finally completed his trophy cabinet with a World Cup, and Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas won the award for best women’s players of the year.
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Featured Image — FIFA (via YouTube)