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    Fifa Best Awards: Lionel Messi wins best male player, Pep Guardiola named best male coach and other happening at the awards.

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    The 2023 FIFA Best Awards, held on January 15th, 2024, saw some familiar faces take home top honors! Here’s a rundown of the major winners and other noteworthy happenings:

    The Best Men’s Player: For the second year in a row, the legendary Lionel Messi lifted the trophy, edging out Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé in a tightly contested race. This marks Messi’s seventh Best Men’s Player award, further solidifying his place as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

    Messi, 36, began 2023 at Paris St-Germain, before moving to Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami in June.

    FIFA Best Awards 2024 Winners| firstclasssoccerHe 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 Best Women’s Player: Aitana Bonmatí, the midfield maestro of Barcelona and Spain, claimed the top women’s award for the first time in her career. Bonmatí’s outstanding individual performances and key role in Barcelona’s treble-winning season made her a deserving recipient.

    Aitana  Bonmati win big honours - firstclasssoccer

     

    The Best Men’s Coach: Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, the architect of the Citizens’ dominant domestic and European campaign, was named the Best Men’s Coach. Guardiola’s tactical prowess and ability to get the best out of his players were duly recognized.

    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola named best men's coach at FIFA awards | firstclasssoccer

     

    The Best Women’s Coach: Sarina Wiegman, the mastermind behind England’s historic Euro 2022 triumph, earned the Best Women’s Coach award. Wiegman’s tactical nous and leadership skills were instrumental in England’s victory, making her a clear choice for the accolade.

     

    Other noteworthy awards:

    • The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper: Ederson Moraes (Manchester City)
    • The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper: Mary Earps (Manchester United)
    • FIFA Puskás Award (best goal): Guilherme Madruga (Botafogo) for a stunning bicycle kick
    • FIFA Fair Play Award: Brazil national team for their gesture of solidarity against racism
    • FIFA Fan Award: Hugo Daniel “Toto” Iniguez (Argentina) for his passionate support of the Argentina national team

    The 2023 FIFA Best Awards were a night of celebration for the world’s finest footballers and coaches. With Messi and Bonmatí claiming top honors, and Guardiola and Wiegman recognized for their coaching brilliance, the ceremony was a fitting tribute to the beautiful game.

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