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Guests and nominees arrive for the Best FIFA Football Awards

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on September 24, 2019 - Duration: 00:42s

Guests and nominees arrive for the Best FIFA Football Awards

Lionel Messi, Virgil van Dijk and other big names of football arrived in Milan on Monday (September 23) for a ceremony that crowned Messi and U.S. player Megan Rapinoe as the top men's and women's players in the world.

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Guests and nominees arrive for the Best FIFA Football Awards

SHOWS: MILAN, ITALY (SEPTEMBER 23, 2019) (REUTERS - SEE SCRIPT FOR RESTRICTIONS) 1.

BARCELONA FORWARD, LIONEL MESSI, ARRIVING 2.

FIFA PRESIDENT, GIANNI INFANTINO, ARRIVING 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English)

Class="kln">LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, SAYING: "Tonight is the break, to be honest.

It's...we played yesterday and tonight we're in Milan.

It's obviously a wonderful occasion, I've never been before here.

It's great, I'm looking forward it.

I'm happy for the boys, it's nice.

We had a trip together, Ali (Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker), (Liverpool defender) Virgil (Van Dijk) and I so It's really cool to be here.

That's it." 4.

LIVERPOOL GOALKEEPER, ALISSON BECKER, ARRIVING STORY: Lionel Messi, Virgil van Dijk and other big names of football arrived in Milan on Monday (September 23) for a ceremony that crowned Messi and U.S. player Megan Rapinoe as the top men's and women's players in the world.

"My heart beats stronger for Messi and even if Cristiano is also unique, I hope Messi wins tonight", ex-footballer Samuel Eto'o told Reuters.

But the shadow of racism in Italian Serie A overshadowed the gala after monkey noises were heard being aimed at Inter Milan's Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku during the match against AC Milan on Saturday (September 21) and after Fiorentina's wing-back Dalbert had been the target of racist abuse from fans at the Stadio Ennio Tardini in Parma, during a match against Atalanta on Sunday (September 22).

"It hurts to see that after nine or ten years after me, (Inter Milan striker Romelu) Lukaku is having the same problems (with racism) in the same stadium", Eto'o said.

"I'm totally against racism in football.

We must be united in condemning it, every effort is never enough, we must work together to eradicate this problem from society and not just from football",

Class="kln">Tottenham Hotspur coach, Mauricio Pochettino, added.

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