Lionel Messi from Argentina secured the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year trophy, narrowly clinching the title through a tiebreaker. The Barcelona star and Norway striker Erling Haaland were both on 48 points in the voting, with the award decided by whichever player had more first-place votes from national team captains. France’s Paris St Germain forward Kylian Mbappe came in third. Manchester City’s Ederson, who helped his club win the Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup in 2022-23, was named goalkeeper of the year.
The ceremony in London also saw England manager Sarina Wiegman crowned women’s coach of the year. Her team’s stellar World Cup run and a club-level treble were key factors in her winning the prize ahead of Belgium’s Alexis Sandro, Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, and Brazil’s Neymar. Manchester United’s Mary Earps and Chelsea’s Lucy Bronze were also part of the Women’s Team of the Year.
While the awards celebrate the best of the year, they are becoming a vanity show whose names and reputation overshadow actual achievements on the pitch. Messi’s victory was no different, but his decision to skip the ceremony in London to focus on PSG’s preseason tour likely influenced voters.
Lionel Messi was not present to receive his trophy and had already secured the award in 2022 after guiding Argentina to a World Cup victory. His success made him the only player to win the men’s prize three times since its 2016 inception, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric winning the previous two editions.
Meanwhile, Bonmati was overjoyed with her success and dedicated the prize to her teammates in Barcelona and Spain. The 25-year-old midfielder had a stunning season, finishing the year with a World Cup Golden Ball, UEFA Women’s Player of the Year awards, and a club treble.
Bonmati, Mbappe, and Haaland all featured in the XI of the year, with City’s Ederson, Manchester United’s John Stones, and Tottenham’s Harry Kane alongside the pair. Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm, Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, and RB Leipzig’s Nuri Sigurdsson completed the list of the world’s best players. The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023(tm) ceremony was held in London on Monday. Thierry Henry was one of the presenters at the event. The complete list of winners can be seen here.