Best FIFA Awards Nominees: Messi, Haaland, Mbappe


Best FIFA Awards Nominees: Messi, Haaland, Mbappe

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The nominees for the FIFA Best awards have been announced, and the main contenders for the men’s prize are Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi. They face competition from Kylian Mbappe, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, and Declan Rice.

In the women’s category, Barcelona’s Aitana Bonmati is considered the strong favorite for the award. Her recognition comes after winning the World Cup with Spain and being awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.

Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland will be in direct competition for the Best FIFA Men’s award, while Aitana Bonmati, a World Cup winner, and Lauren James, a standout player for the Lionesses, are among the contenders for the Women’s prize.

The selection criteria for the men’s award are based on achievements from December 19, 2022, to August 20, 2023. During this period, Haaland achieved the remarkable feat of winning the treble with Manchester City, including the Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League – a significant achievement that had long eluded City.

Erling Haaland, the Norwegian sensation, shattered numerous goal-scoring records during this period, notably securing the record for the most goals in a Premier League season. In recognition of his outstanding performances, he has also received several prestigious individual awards, including the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year, and PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

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While Lionel Messi’s 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign falls outside the eligible dates for the Best FIFA Men’s award, he did achieve significant success by winning Ligue 1 with his former club, Paris Saint-Germain. In April, he also surpassed his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo as the all-time highest goal-scorer in European club football, reaching an incredible milestone of 702 goals, and registered 1,000 career direct goal contributions at the club level.

Other nominees include several of Erling Haaland’s Manchester City teammates, who shared in the treble victory with him. Notably, Rodri scored the decisive goal in the Champions League final against Inter Milan. The list also includes Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, and Julian Alvarez.

Declan Rice, the sole Englishman among the nominees, is another contender. As the former captain of West Ham, Rice lifted the Europa Conference League trophy with his team before making a move to Arsenal in the summer.

List of Candidates

Men’s player: Julian Alvarez (City and Argentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter/Al Nassr and Croatia), Kevin De Bruyne (City and Belgium), Erling Haaland (City and Norway), Rodri (City and Spain), Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli and Georgia), Kylian Mbappe (PSG and France), Lionel Messi (PSG/Inter Miami and Argentina), Victor Osimhen (Napoli and Nigeria), Declan Rice (West Ham United/Arsenal and England) and Bernardo Silva (City and Portugal).

Women’s player: Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona and Spain), Linda Caicedo (Deportivo Cali/Real Madrid and Colombia), Rachel Daly (Aston Villa and England), Kadidiatou Diani (PSG/Lyon and France), Caitlin Foord (Arsenal and Australia), Mary Fowler (City and Australia), Alex Greenwood (City and England), Jenni Hermoso (Pachuca and Spain), Lindsey Horan (Lyon and USWNT), Amanda Ilestedt (PSG/Arsenal and Sweden), Lauren James (Chelsea and England), Sam Kerr (Chelsea and Australia), Mapi Leon (Barcelona), Hinata Miyazawa (Mynavi Sendai/Manchester United and Japan), Salma Paralluelo (Barcelona and Spain) and Keira Walsh (Barcelona and England).

Men’s coach: Pep Guardiola (City), Simone Inzaghi (Inter), Ange Postecoglou (Celtic/Tottenham Hotspur), Luciano Spalletti (Napoli/Italy) and Xavi (Barcelona).

Women’s coach: Peter Gerhardsson (Sweden), Jonatan Giraldez (Barcelona), Tony Gustavsson (Australia), Emma Hayes (Chelsea) and Sarina Wiegman (England).

Men’s goalkeeper: Yassine Bounou (Sevilla/Al Hilal and Morocco), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid and Belgium), Andre Onana (Inter/Manchester United and Cameroon) and Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona and Germany).

Women’s goalkeeper: Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham United and Australia), Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea and Germany), Cata Coll (Barcelona and Spain), Mary Earps (Manchester United and England), Christiane Endler (Lyon and Chile), Zecira Musovic (Chelsea and Sweden) and Sandra Panos (Barcelona).

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