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Messi narrowly beats Haaland again, this time in FIFA The Best Award

This year, the traditional FIFA The Best Awards, the most prestigious FIFA off-field awards that players and teams can receive, were held. Captains, coaches, fans and selected journalists could vote in twelve different categories.



This year, the traditional FIFA The Best Awards, the most prestigious FIFA off-field awards that players and teams can receive, were also held. Captains, coaches, fans and selected journalists could vote in twelve different categories. Messi won the main award.

Player of the Year category won Messi

The men’s player of the past year 2023 was Lionel Messi, winner of the Ballon d´Or, the French League and the American Leagues Cup. Among fans on social media, this victory became the target of loud criticism. As the other player in this category (Erling Haaland) had many more trophies and goals than the 36-year-old Argentine.

It was the first time in the history of this poll that two players had the same points, and in the end Messi won because more national team captains voted for him. Their votes carry the most weight and therefore ended up being the deciding factor. Third in this category was French speedster Kylian Mbappé.

Goalkeeper of the Year

The 2023 Goalkeeper of the Year was Ederson. The treble winner with Manchester City won with a three-point lead over Thibaut Courtois. He scored a total of 23 points and was therefore able to add this individual trophy to his valuable collection of trophies. Third in this category was Yassine Bounou. He received the most points from the fans, who certainly appreciated especially his above-standard performances in the Europa League.

Men’s Team of the Year with Messi too

It might come as a big surprise that it was not Ederson, the best goalkeeper of the year. But Thibaut Courtois who came second in this category. Moreover, the Belgian was injured for the entire second half of the season and only won the Copa Del Rey in 2023.

In the unconventional 3-2-1-4 formation in which the team was assembled, three Manchester City players ( John Stones, Kyle Walker and Rueben Dias) were chosen to play in defence. All three, of course, have the same team trophies, namely the treble plus the UEFA Super Cup. In addition to this, the whole trio have been regularly invited, like the rest of the team, to national team reunions.

In the midfield of the team of the year we find again the players of the blue part of Manchester – the duo Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva. This duo, which has the same success as the aforementioned stopper trio, was completed by Jude Bellingham. He started the season at Dortmund. He spent the second half of the season at Real Madrid, where he quickly became a cornerstone of the team. This is one of the reasons why he was rightly included in the team of the year.

In the four-man attack, the skilful Brazilian Vinícius Junior was chosen for the left wing position. And although he only won the Spanish Cup last year, he was a very valid player for Real. The right wing position belongs to the winner of the whole poll, Lionel Messi. After his stint at PSG, he raised the game of Inter Miami very significantly. And won their first trophy in history with the team.

The last two strikers who are not missing from this eleven are Haaland and Mbappé. Like the other Citizens players, Haaland went on to win the UEFA Super Cup and the treble last year. Which even combined with his goal scoring spree was still not enough to win the overall title. The top scorer of the last and current Ligue 1 season Mbappé is without a doubt also a clear choice for this team.

Men and woman coach of the year

The coach of the previous year was unrivalled coach Pep Guardiola, who managed to lead Manchester City to near perfection. Serie A winner with Napoli Luciano Spalletti came second and Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi came third. The latter managed to surprise the football world. And took Inter to the Champions League final in Istanbul, where his charges failed to beat Manchester City.

In the women’s football category, Sarina Wiegman won. The Dutch coach managed to take the English national team to the World Cup final. But there her charges lost to Spain 1:0. Second was Chelsea London coach Emma Hayes. She won the English Super League and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. Third place went to Spain’s Jonatan Giráldez, who won both the Champions League and the domestic league with Barcelona last year.

Player of the Year

Aitana Bonmatí, winner of the F-League, Champions League and World Cup in Australia, was named Footballer of the Year. She left behind the talented Real Madrid and Ecuador player Linda Caicedo. At just 18 years old, she is equal to the best and has amazed the football world. Third place went to Mexican Tigres striker Jennifer Hermoso.

Other categories

The Puskás Award, given for the best goal of the year, was awarded to Botafogo player Guilherme Madruga. The Fair Play Award, on the other hand, went to the players of the Brazilian men’s national team. The so-called FIFA Special Award went to Marta, a footballer playing for Orlando Pride.

The women’s team of the year was as follows: Earps – Bronze, Greenwood, Carmona – Toone, Bonmati, Walsh – James, Kerr, Morgan, Russo.

Source: FIFA