Messi beats Haaland to win Men’s Player of the Year accolade

Lionel Messi won the Men’s Player of the Year accolade for a record third time at The FIFA Best Awards ceremony in London.

The Argentina captain, 36, finished ahead of Erling Haaland in a vote tie-break thanks to receiving more first-choice nominations from national team captains, with the pair were tied on 48 points.

Manchester City striker Haaland was unlucky to miss out on another award after achieving a record-breaking Premier League scoring total of 36 goals last term and helping the Citizens win the Treble.

Messi netted 16 goals and registered the same number of assists for Paris Saint-Germain in the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season before making a blockbuster move to Inter Miami, where he lifted the Leagues Cup last August.

Ballon d’Or Feminin holder Aitana Bonmati, 25, was crowned the Best Women’s Player following a phenomenal 2023 with Spain and Barcelona.

The midfield maestro was a key figure in La Roja’s World Cup triumph last summer, while she also won the Champions League and Liga F with Barca.

* Haaland

After being presented with the award, Bonmati said: “I am proud of being part of a powerful generation of women, part of changing the rules of the game, and the world.”

Other winners
Elsewhere, Pep Guardiola was named the Best Men’s Coach after leading City to the Treble last season, while England boss Sarina Weigman claimed the women’s prize for a fourth time.

Mary Earps won the Best Women’s Goalkeeper for the second year running after a superb campaign with England and Manchester United, which also saw her win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

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Ederson took home the men’s award following his impressive performances between the sticks during City’s Treble-winning season.

Guilherme Madruga pipped Brighton’s Julio Enciso to the Puskas Award thanks to his sublime overhead kick during Botafogo’s match against Novorizontino in the Brazilian second tier.

Brazil’s men’s team claimed the FIFA Fairplay Award for wearing black kits in a friendly match against Guinea last June to showcase solidarity with Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr after he was the target of racist abuse in LaLiga.

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