FIFA shortlists Messi, Mbappe, Haaland for Best Men’s Player award 2023

The FIFA best men’s player award for 2023 will be another contest between Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe 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 Bonmati and Jenni Hermoso of Spain, plus Linda Caicedo of Colombia.

The FIFA men’s award for 2023 includes Haaland’s outstanding season, helping Manchester City win a title treble of the Champions League, English Premier League and FA Cup.

Messi and Mbappe 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.

Bonmati 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 helped Barcelona win the Women’s Champions League and Spanish league too.

Bonmati 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 20th August 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 15h January in London.

Voting was by national team captains and coaches, selected journalists plus fans through an online poll that closed in October.

Coaches

Champions League-winning coaches Pep Guardiola and Jonatan Giraldez were among the names announced in the FIFA Best Coach shortlists on Wednesday, in a race to be named the world’s best in 2023.

Guardiola guided Manchester City to a trophy treble last season and is among three candidates with Simone Inzaghi and Luciano Spalletti for the FIFA Best Coach award in men’s football.

Inzaghi took Inter Milan to the Champions League final against City and Spalletti led Napoli to a first Serie A title for 33 years.

Giraldez heads the candidates for the Best Coach award in women’s football after Barcelona won the Spanish league, then the European title having eliminated Chelsea in the semifinals.

Chelsea’s Emma Hayes, whose team won the English League and cup double, is shortlisted with Sarina Wiegman, coach of the England team that lost the Women’s World Cup final to Spain.

Both three-coach shortlists were voted on from five initial candidates by a jury of national team captains and coaches, selected media and fans worldwide.

The award ceremony is on the 15th January in London.