Fifa Best Awards: Lionel Messi wins best male player, Pep Guardiola named best male coach
Argentina forward Lionel Messi has won men’s player of the year at the Fifa Best Awards, with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claiming the men’s coach prize in London.
Inter Miami’s Messi edged out City striker Erling Haaland with Paris St-Germain attacker Kylian Mbappe third.
City’s Ederson collected the goalkeeper award of Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois and Al Hilal’s Yassine Bounou.
City won the Treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in 2022-23.
Messi wins by tightest margin
Messi, 36, began 2023 at Paris St-Germain, before moving to Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami in June.
He picked up the best men’s player award for the third time since this format of the awards began in 2016, after doing so in 2019 and 2022.
He scored nine goals for PSG as they won the French Ligue 1 title and 10 goals in seven games as Inter Miami won the inaugural Leagues Cup in the United States.
Haaland grabbed a record 36 Premier League goals last season. In all competitions in 2022-23, he scored a club-record 52 goals – with 28 of them coming after the World Cup, plus another two goals this season before 20 August.
France’s Mbappe, like Messi, won the Ligue 1 title with PSG – and clinched a fifth consecutive Golden Boot.
The 25-year-old netted 18 goals for his French club during the window of 19 December 2022 to 20 August 2023 – the period the awards were based on.
A mix of votes from national team managers and captains, journalists and fans on Fifa’s website – with each counting for 25% – were used to decide the winners.
Messi and Haaland finished on the same amount of points, with Messi getting the award as he had more first-place nominations from national team captains.
Among the national team captains who voted for Messi were Harry Kane, Mbappe, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Aaron Ramsey and Luka Modric, while Ilkay Gundogan and Casemiro voted for Haaland, as did Messi himself.
England boss Gareth Southgate gave his vote to Haaland, while Wales’ Robert Page and Scotland’s Steve Clarke voted for Messi.
Montserrat skipper Lyle Taylor opted for Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice, Russia skipper Georgi Dzhikiya voted for Georgia and Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Portugal boss Roberto Martinez voted for ex-Inter Milan midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, now at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.
The Fifa Best Awards generally cover a calendar year and are different to the Ballon d’Or awards, which reflect performances across a season and which Messi has won on eight occasions.
However, this year, the men’s Fifa Best Awards, and Puskas Award, were judged from 19 December, 2022 to 20 August 2023, because the Qatar World Cup was included in last year’s ceremony.
This year’s event took place at the Hammersmith Apollo in London with a host of the best players past and present in attendance.
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