In a nail-biting conclusion at the FIFA Men’s Player award ceremony in London on Monday, Lionel Messi claimed the coveted title for the third time, narrowly surpassing Manchester City’s Erling Haaland. French forward, Kylian Mbappe, was also in the running, making it a fierce competition.
This marked Messi’s third triumph in the prestigious award, adding to his previous victories in 2019 and 2022. The ceremony, recognizing excellence in the men’s game from December 19, 2022, to August 20, 2023, showcased a remarkable battle for the top spot.
The final tally saw both Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland securing an equal and impressive 48 points each. In contrast, Kylian Mbappe, the French forward from Paris Saint-Germain, garnered 35 points.
Messi’s Best FIFA Men’s Player: Explaining the Collaborative Voting Process
Unveiling the intricate details of the selection process that determines the Best FIFA Men’s Player, a collaborative effort involving national team coaches, captains, expert journalists, and fans worldwide. Each category plays a crucial role, with a 25 percent weight contributing to the final result.
In this process, coaches and captains exercise their influence by casting votes for three players. The allocation is strategic, with five points for their top pick, three for the second, and one for the third. This meticulous system ensures a fair representation of opinions from key figures in the football community.
Lionel Messi’s triumphant win in the latest edition hinged on his ability to secure more first-choice nominations from national men’s team captains. This crucial distinction set him apart from the formidable Erling Haaland. The Argentine maestro, celebrated as a 2022 World Cup winner, played a pivotal role in Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 triumph. Additionally, his contribution to Inter Miami’s Leagues Cup victory in his inaugural Major League Soccer season further solidified his standing as the Best FIFA Men’s Player.
In the meantime, Erling Haaland’s prolific goal-scoring abilities, amassing an impressive total of 52 goals in various competitions, characterized a highly successful campaign for Manchester City, culminating in the achievement of a treble.
In the Spirit of Transparency: Insights from The Best FIFA Awards Votes
To foster transparency, FIFA released a comprehensive list revealing who voted for whom in The Best FIFA Awards poll, offering intriguing revelations.
For instance, Real Madrid midfielders Luka Modric and Federico Valverde, serving as captains for Croatia and Uruguay respectively, set aside El Clasico hostilities to cast their votes for Barcelona legend Messi as their top choice in the men’s player category. This decision stirred reactions on social media.
Brazil captain Casemiro, despite being a former Real Madrid midfielder, aligned with the consensus by favoring Haaland over Messi in his vote for the best player of 2023. This move was notable, considering Haaland’s new role as a cross-town rival of Casemiro’s former teammate, the City striker.
However, England men’s coach Gareth Southgate chose not to include Messi in his top three, a decision mirrored by Portugal captain Pepê, who also opted to omit the ex-Barcelona star entirely from his choices.
For the record, Messi, in a display of sportsmanship, gave his first-choice vote to Haaland, placing former Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappé in second, and casting his third-place vote for fellow Argentina international forward Julián Álvarez.
Celebrating Excellence: Highlights and Overlooked Gems from The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023
Pep Guardiola and Sarina Wiegman claimed the titles of Best FIFA Coach in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively. The Best FIFA Goalkeeper awards went to Manchester City’s Éderson and Manchester United’s Mary Earps, acknowledging their stellar performances throughout 2023.
Éderson’s outstanding form for Manchester City and Mary Earps’ impressive contributions at Manchester United were duly recognized.
Guilherme Madruga secured the FIFA Puskas Award for the most beautiful goal of the year, showcasing his remarkable bicycle kick for Botafogo against Novorizontino in the Brazilian second division.
Adding a touch of special recognition to the ceremony, Brazil legend Marta received The Best FIFA Special Award, honoring her exceptional 20-year career. This prestigious accolade puts her in the esteemed company of Christine Sinclair, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Pelé as past recipients.
While the event glittered with talent and trophies, it’s worth noting that amid the razzle, dazzle, glitz, and glamour, there might have been a few other noteworthy aspects of The Best FIFA Football Awards for 2023 that could have been overlooked.