Messi, Mbappé or Haaland to be 2023 FIFA best player
ZURICH (AP) — The FIFA best men’s player award for 2023 will be another contest between Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland.
FIFA announced the shortlist on Thursday with the same top three in the voting as for the Ballon d’Or prize that Messi won in October.
Though the Ballon d’Or voting period included the 2022 World Cup won by a Messi-inspired Argentina, he had already won a seventh career FIFA award in February that rewarded his title-winning performances in Qatar.
The women’s best player shortlist features two 2023 World Cup winners, Aitana Bonmatí and Jenni Hermoso of Spain, plus Linda Caicedo of Colombia.
The FIFA men’s award for 2023 includes Haaland’s standout season helping Manchester City win a title treble of the Champions League, English Premier League and FA Cup.
Messi and Mbappé won the French league with Paris Saint-Germain which was eliminated from the Champions League in the round of 16. Messi then joined Inter Miami and quickly helped the team win the Leagues Cup.
Bonmatí also won the women’s Ballon d’Or in October plus a UEFA award in August as the best player in Europe last season. She also helped Barcelona win the Women’s Champions League and Spanish league.
Bonmatí used her acceptance speech in August to support her teammate Hermoso, who was kissed on the lips without her consent by Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales at the World Cup trophy ceremony in Sydney.
Rubiales eventually resigned three weeks after the Aug. 20 final, and the fallout also removed women’s team coach Jorge Vilda from his job. Vilda was left off the FIFA ballot for the coaching award in women’s soccer.
The FIFA ceremony is on Jan. 15 in London.
Voting was by national team captains and coaches, selected journalists plus fans through an online poll that closed in October.
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