FIFA Best: Lionel Messi wins best male player, Pep Guardiola named best male coach

Best Awards: Lionel Messi Clinches Best Male Player, Pep Guardiola Takes Best Male Coach

In a dazzling night at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, the Fifa Best Awards for 2023 witnessed Lionel Messi's triumphant return to the spotlight as he claimed the prestigious Men's Player of the Year title. Meanwhile, the mastermind behind Manchester City's success, Pep Guardiola, was crowned the Best Male Coach.

Messi's Triumph

The 36-year-old Argentine forward, Lionel Messi, made waves with his move to Inter Miami after beginning the year with Paris St-Germain. Messi's remarkable contributions included nine goals for PSG, securing the French Ligue 1 title, and an additional 10 goals in seven games, leading Inter Miami to triumph in the inaugural Leagues Cup in the United States.

Haaland's Record-breaking Season

Notably, Manchester City's Erling Haaland, the record-breaker, scored a staggering 36 Premier League goals in the previous season. His overall tally of 52 goals in all competitions showcased his goal-scoring prowess, setting a club record. However, despite this extraordinary feat, Messi managed to secure the award in a tight competition.

Mbappe's Consistent Success

Joining the podium was Paris St-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, who, like Messi, claimed the Ligue 1 title with his French club. Mbappe's fifth consecutive Golden Boot and 18 goals during the awards' timeframe solidified his consistent success.

Award Selection Process

The Fifa Best Awards' unique voting system, involving national team managers, captains, journalists, and fans, played a pivotal role in determining the winners. Messi's victory, despite tying in points with Haaland, was decided by his higher number of first-place nominations from national team captains.

Messi's Narrow Victory

The competition between Messi and Haaland proved to be nail-bitingly close. The tiebreaker revealed Messi's widespread support, with notable votes from captains like Harry Kane, Mbappe, and Mohamed Salah, securing his third Men's Player of the Year award.

Unique Voting Patterns

The diverse preferences of national team captains added intrigue to the voting process. Notable votes included Ilkay Gundogan and Casemiro for Haaland, while Gareth Southgate supported Haaland and Robert Page and Steve Clarke voted for Messi.

Distinction from Ballon d'Or Awards

It's crucial to distinguish the Fifa Best Awards from the Ballon d'Or, as the former covers a calendar year. However, due to the inclusion of the Qatar World Cup, the 2023 awards considered performances from December 19, 2022, to August 20, 2023.

Event Highlights

The star-studded event at the Hammersmith Apollo celebrated the best players and coaches, showcasing the global footballing community's talent and camaraderie.

Guardiola's Coaching Triumph

Pep Guardiola's exceptional coaching journey at Manchester City earned him the coveted Men's Coach of the Year award. Beating competition from Luciano Spalletti and Simone Inzaghi, Guardiola's impact on the team's success was evident.

Spalletti and Inzaghi's Nominations

Luciano Spalletti's guidance led Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years, while Simone Inzaghi's Coppa Italia win with Inter Milan showcased his coaching prowess.

Manchester City Dominance

The dominance of Manchester City was further highlighted with six players making it to the Men's Team of the Year. Defenders John Stones, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, midfielders Bernardo Silva and Kevin de Bruyne, and striker Erling Haaland showcased the club's prowess.

Men's Team of the Year

The stellar team comprised Thibaut Courtois, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva, Jude Bellingham, Kevin de Bruyne, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, and Vinicius Jr.

Guardiola's Impact

Ruben Dias acknowledged Guardiola's intensity and unique coaching style, stating it brought out the best in every player. Guardiola expressed gratitude to the players for an incredible eight-year journey.

Puskas Award Drama

Brighton midfielder Julio Enciso's nomination for the Puskas Award, though spectacular, fell short. The award went to Guilherme Madruga for a sensational 25-yard overhead kick, adding a touch of drama to the night.

In conclusion, the Fifa Best Awards for 2023 showcased the brilliance of Lionel Messi, the coaching prowess of Pep Guardiola, and the dominance of Manchester City on the global football stage. The night was filled with suspense, drama, and celebration, reflecting the diverse talents and achievements in the footballing world.

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