Lionel Messi won FIFA’s “The Best” award for the third time on Monday as the Argentine pipped Manchester City’s Erling Haaland to the prize for best men’s player in 2023.
Haaland was favourite to win after scoring 52 times in his debut season with Manchester City, but Messi edged the vote after winning Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain and the Leagues Cup just months after joining Inter Miami.
Messi’s latest award is coming just three months after he became Ballon d’Or champion for a record-breaking eighth time.
The Argentinian garnered most of the votes in a three-man shortlist that included Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain talisman Kylian Mbappe.
Despite being largely unexceptional in the last 12 months, Messi topped the pile for the Best awards voted by captains and coaches of national teams.
The Argentina captain moved to David Beckham’s Miami team in 2023 scoring 11 goals in 14 appearances and winning the Leagues Cup with the team.
This marks two successive years of being named FIFA’s Best men’s player after previously winning in 2022 and before that in 2019.
By Donatus Anichukwueze
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