The FIFA Awards And How It Unfolded
The annual FIFA awards retuned on Monday; held in London it was home to some of football’s biggest names. Coaches, captains, and journalists from around the globe all had their say in who would take home some of footballs most captivating awards.
In what was a tight contest for the Best FIFA Men’s Player of The Year, Lionel Messi collected his third award in this category. Whilst Spaniard Aitana Bonmati continued to add to her ever-growing collection of personal accolades as she took home the award of Best FIFA Women’s Player of The Year.
Let us take a look at how the night unfolded.
Best FIFA Men’s Player of The Year
Forever breaking records, Lionel Messi has become the first ever player from the MLS to win this award. Sharing 48 points with second placed Erling Haaland, the Argentine edged to victory on the basis that he gained more votes from other international team captains. A victory that can only be described as controversial. The former Barcelona legend started the calendar year by returning to club football after winning his first World Cup with Argentina. Joining back up with French giants PSG, Messi had a successful season, winning his second Ligue 1 trophy on May the 11th and on the same day breaking the record for most goals scored in Europe’s top five leagues with 496 goals. Although finishing the season on high, his time at PSG ended; later signing for David Beckhams Inter Miami. Finishing 2023 with only six appearances and just the one goal to his name in the MLS, it could be argued that did Messi have a better year than Manchester City’s Erling Haaland?
The Norwegian took the Premier League by storm in his first season in England and with 36 goals in 35 games, earned him his first golden boot and the award for Premier League Player of The Season. As well, Haaland was a major player in helping City to their famous Treble Win.
Kylian Mbappe came away with the third place respectively. The French forward managed an amazing 29 goals in 34 games across the Ligue 1 2022-23 season and has since taken the captains arm band for the French National Side. Kylian has so far netted 19 goals in 17 games this season.
Best FIFA Women’s Player of The Year
Aitana Bonmati has continued her great personal success after claiming her first FIFA Women’s Player of The Year. The 25-year-old shared an amazing 2023. Winning the Women’s World Cup in August against England, after toughing out a hard earned 1-0 win, Bonmati went on to win the player of the tournament claiming the Golden Ball.
Domestically, the midfielder also enjoyed her fair share of trophies with her Liga F side Barcelona. Her team finished the season as champions, with Bonmati Contributing to 10 goals in 23 games. To go along with their league triumph, Barcelona went on to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Aitana also won the Champions League player of the tournament.
In October 2023, the Spaniard won her first ever Ballon D’Or Feminin, a huge accolade, once again sharing the stage with Lionel Messi.
Linda Caicedo, at just 18 years old, picked up second spot. The Columbian started the year with a huge move to Real Madrid and helped her national side to one of the World Cup’s biggest upsets by opening the scoring in a 2-1 victory versus Germany.
Fellow Spaniard Jenni Hermoso was third. The 33-year-old had an impressive 2023, sharing the pitch with Bonmati in the World Cup Final, the former Barcelona forward won the Silver Ball after the tournament after being named the second-best player of the tournament. Hermoso also racked up an impressive 23 goals in 33 games for Mexican side Pachuca.
The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper of The Year
Manchester City’s Ederson has claimed this year’s Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper Award; the Brazilian was a pivotal player in Pep Guardiola’s treble winning team. In all competitions, Man City’s Mr Reliable kept 18 clean sheets, with seven coming in the UEFA Champions League, playing a vital part in allowing City to win their first European tournament.
The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper of The Year
Mary Earps has once again proven why she is arguably the best goalkeeper in the women’s game. A year full of achievements for Mary, steering Manchester United to their best WSL finish in second place, with 14 league clean sheets, earning her the WSL Golden Glove award. Earps later went onto showcase her talents in the Women’s World Cup, conceding only four goals all tournament, with an impressive three clean sheets, the highest in all the competition. The shot-stopper has also picked up the BBC Sports Personality of The Year, as well as the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the year.
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach of The Year
After a treble winning 2022-2023 season and later world dominance in the FIFA Club World Cup, Pep Guardiola has deservedly won Best FIFA Coach of The Year. A season which will go down in Man City’s history books, Pep drove his team to remarkable success, earning them their seventh ever Premier League title, their third FA Cup in the last 13 years and the long-awaited Champions League. The Spaniard, who was up against England’s tight footballing schedule, later steered City to their first Club World Cup trophy, with the ‘Cityzens’ defeating Brazilian giants Fluminense 4-0. An overall momentous year for Guardiola, proving why he is yet again one of the worlds best managers.
The Best FIFA Women’s Coach of The Year
For the fourth time in her career, England Lioness manager Sarina Wiegman, has won Best FIFA Women’s Coach of The Year. Wiegman led the England Women’s team to their best finish in the World Cup as well as picking up two other trophies along the way. The Dutchwoman led her team to their second success in the Arnold Clark Cup as well as winning the first ever Women’s Finallisima against Brazil. Although they did not win the World Cup, it has still been a highly successful year for the Lionesses and Sarina, and it is certainly a deserved fourth time winning the FIFA Women’s Coach of the year.