The FIFA Men’s Player of the Year trophy went to Argentine Lionel Messi on Monday, defeating French forward Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain and Norwegian striker Erling Haaland of Manchester City, who had won three straight titles.
Aitana Bonmati, the World Cup champion for Spain in 2023, was chosen as the year’s top women’s player.
Messi, who won the men’s award in 2022 as well after leading Argentina to the World Cup, won the Ligue 1 championship with PSG with Mbappe in tow before joining Inter Miami of Major League Soccer.
With 10 goals to his credit, the 36-year-old helped Inter Miami win the 2023 Leagues Cup, a competition between MLS teams and Liga MX teams in Mexico. He was chosen as the best player by national teams coaches, captains, journalists, and fans.
Messi was not present when the trophy was accepted.
The men’s prize period began the day following the World Cup final in Qatar and ran from December 19, 2022, to August 20, 2023.
Haaland came in second in the voting, having scored 52 goals in 53 games across all competitions in the 2022–23 season, helping City win a treble of Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League titles.
The 23-year-old lost out to Messi despite having the same number of points because fewer national team captains gave him their first-place vote.
Pep Guardiola of City took home the Best Men’s Coach title. The Spaniard dedicated his prize to fellow nominees Simone Inzaghi and Luciano Spalletti. Prior to winning the treble with City this season, he had accomplished the same feat at Barcelona in 2008–09.
After leading Inter Milan to the 2023 Champions League final, where they were defeated by City 1-0, Spalletti ended the team’s 33-year title drought with a Serie A victory with Napoli.
After guiding England to the World Cup final, where they were defeated 1-0 by Spain, Sarina Wiegman was awarded the Best Women’s Coach title.
Seven of her Lionesses were included in the Women’s World XI, including Mary Earps, who also took the Best Women’s Goalkeeper Award.
Brazil’s Manchester City keeper Ederson won the men’s award