Lionel Messi won FIFA The Best Men’s Player Award for the second consecutive time and the fourth time in his career on Monday despite competition by Erling Haaland, one of the greatest strikers ever seen in modern football.
The Argentine and the Norwegian had the same 48 points after votes from the national teams’ captains, votes of coaches, media personalities, and fans were collated. Therefore, why was the award given to Messi?
This is due to the rules set by the governing body that the player with the most votes from the national teams’ captains will emerge the winner of the prestigious award and the Inter Miami superstar beat the Manchester City striker in this regard.
Messi received 13 votes from captains, 11 from both coaches and media and 13 from fans. Haaland, meanwhile, received 11 votes from captains, 13 each from coaches and media, and 11 more from fans.
The Argentine was therefore presented the FIFA The Best Men’s Player Award in addition to the 2023 Ballon d’Or he won earlier due to the two more votes he got from the captains. Haaland came second behind him and Kylian Mbappe came third just like it was arranged at the FIFA Ballon d’Or award night.
The governing body had announced that the award would be judged based on the player’s performance from December 19, 2022 (a day after the FIFA World Cup final) to August 2023.
Within the period, Erling Haaland won the European treble and scored 52 goals in 53 appearances to help City win the FA Cup, the Premier League, and the UEFA Champions League to cap off a sensational season last term.
His impressive campaign made him the favourite for FIFA The Best Men’s Player Award, but the prize was given to Messi who won the Ligue 1 title with PSG in that span and ended the 2022–23 season with 21 goals and 20 assists in 41 appearances for the French club.