Messi battles Mbappe, Haaland for Best FIFA Awards

Argentina captain, Lionel Messi, who recently won the Ballon d’Or, will battle with the French captain, Kylian Mbappe and Manchester City superstar, Haaland, for the FIFA Best Football Awards, which holds today in London, England.

It is the eighth edition of the prestigious individual awards ceremony for the best players and coaches, who will be recognised for their performances in the 2022/23 season.

According to FIFA, nominees in the men’s awards are being rewarded for their efforts in the period from December 19, 2022, until August 20, 2023, while the women’s awards take into account performances from August 1, 2022, until August 20, 2023.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who won the first two awards in 2016 and 2017, did not make the nominee list this term.

The nominees for the women’s awards are: Aitana Bonmati of Barcelona, Spain, Linda Caicedo of Deportivo Cali, Colombia and Pachuca of Spain’s Jennifer Hermoso.

Nominees for the FIFA Puskas Award are Paraguay’s Julio Enciso, who plays for Brighton in England, Guilherme Madruga of Botafogo, Brazil and Nuno Santos of Sporting Lisbon, Portugal, while Pep Guardiola of Manchester City, Simone Inzaghi of Inter Milan, and Ange Postecoglu, formerly of Scotland’s Celtics, but now coach of Tottenham, are vying for the Best Men’s Coach award.

Guardiola was nominated for his efforts in steering Manchester City to a treble last season. He is up against Inzaghi, the Inter Milan coach he defeated in the Champions League final and Luciano Spalletti, who delivered Napoli the Scudetto. Barcelona boss, Xavi and former Celtic manager, Postecoglou, are also in the running for the award.

In the running for the Best Women’s Coach Award are Peter Gerhardsson of Sweden, Jonatan Giraldez of Barcelona, Spain, Sweden’s Tony Gustavsson, who coaches Australia’s women national team, Emma Hayes, Chelsea, England, Dutch woman, Sarina Wiegman, who is in charge of England.

The Best Men’s Goalkeeper nominees are: Yassine Bounou of Sevilla and Morocco, Thibaut Courtois of Real Madrid and Belgium, Manchester City’s Ederson and Brazil, Andre Onana, formerly of Inter Milan, but now with Manchester United and Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Barcelona and Germany.

Mary Earps, who won the 2022 Best Women’s Goalkeeper, is out to defend her crown against previous winner, Christiane Endler, as well as Ann-Katrin Berger and Mackenzie Arnold.

According to FIFA, the awards will be presented by prominent British sports broadcaster and presenter, Reshmin Chowdhury and FIFA World Cup winner, Thierry Henry.

They will be assisted in the audience by Duda Pavao, a multilingual media specialist, who has worked at the FIFA World Cup 2022, the FIFA Club World Cup 2022, and the most recent FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
Nigerian Premier Football League


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