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USA striker Megan Rapinoe has been criticised by fans after she said Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk should win the best men's award based on his appearance.
The 34-year-old, who picked up the best women's award at last night's ceremony in Milan, appeared on the green carpet with international teammate Alex Morgan when she was filmed complementing the Dutch centre-back.
In the below clip, she says van Dijk should receive the trophy "just for how cute he is", sparking a huge reaction online.
So, Megan Rapinoe, a woman who strives for equality and wants female footballers to be praised on ability and not their looks etc, said Van Dijk should of won best player based on his looks...the hypocrisy pic.twitter.com/onWnbGEQYM
- Hed Tastings (@DaneCon1892) September 24, 2019
Many have taken to Twitter in recent hours to point out the comments.
One user said: "If Virgil Van Dijk said this about Megan Rapinoe he'd be labeled a misogynist and condescending. Harmful to the growth of the women's game. Would have to write a badly written public apology on Instagram and would be hence forth known as cancelled."
While another said: "I'm waiting for @alexmorgan13 to condemn what Rapinoe said here. How can Rapinoe the social justice warrior make Van Dijk feel like an object by saying that he deserves to win because of his looks over everything he done on the pitch?"
Imagine that Messi and Ronaldo said Megan Rapinoe should win The Best FIFA Women's Player because of how cute she is...
The streets of Milan will be filled with feminists protesting for equality. #FIFAFootballAwards pic.twitter.com/ks4GYKPtHQ
- The Rayo Kasali (@RayoKasali) September 23, 2019
Van Dijk missed out on the coveted prize as Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who scored 54 goals in 58 games for club and country last season, picked up his sixth best men's award.
Meanwhile Rapinoe deservedly picked up the best women's prize after her inspired performances at last summer's World Cup in France.
During her acceptance speech, the Reign FC captain praised Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly for their stance against racism in the sport.
"Some of the stories that have inspired me this year... Raheem Sterling and Koulibaly." she said.
"Their amazing performances on the field, but the way they have taken on the disgusting racism that they have to face."
Megan Rapinoe hails Raheem Sterling and many others after winning Best FIFA Women's Player at #TheBestAwards 2019- Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 23, 2019
:tv: Watch the #FIFAFootballAwards live on Sky Sports PL now pic.twitter.com/yTkFvvJGgJ
The 34-year-old American was also praised for her speech on social media as she powerfully called for "everyone [to] lend your platform to other people, lift other people, share your success."
She added: "We have a unique opportunity to use this beautiful game to change the world for the better. Do something. Do anything."
Thoughts on Rapinoe's comments about van Dijk, and her speech at last night's FIFA awards ceremony?
Let us know in the comments.
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