Messi, Bonmati win Best FIFA awards

Lionel Messi may have quit the dizzy heights of European football, but his exploits at Major League Soccer club, Inter Miami, were adjudged good enough to earn him the Best FIFA Awards on Monday night.

Coming three months after he won the Ballon d’Or for a record breaking eighth time, Messi beat his former Paris St. Germain teammate, Kylian Mbappe and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland to the award at a ceremony held in London, England.

Captains and coaches of national teams vote for the Best awards and Messi topped the pile despite it being a largely unspectacular 12 months for the veteran.

His latest award marks two successive years of being named FIFA’s Best men’s player after previously winning in 2022 and 2019.

The competition recognising the best global footballing talents was introduced eight-years ago after splitting from the esteemed Ballon d’Or awards.

Haaland was Messi’s closest challenger for the individual FIFA title after the Norwegian starred in the Premier League during his debut year at Man City.

His stunning 52-goal season guided Pep Guardiola’s team of superstars to the Champions League, FA Cup and Premier League title, making them only the second team in English football history to do so.

The extraordinary goalscoring exploits has already earned him other individual titles but they weren’t enough to see him finish ahead of Messi in either the Ballon d’Or or the Best awards.

Mbappe was the third nomination for the title after another impressive individual campaign for Paris Saint-Germain that ended PSG struggling in achieving their long-term aim of winning the Champions League.

Messi was absent at the ceremony, so his award was picked on his behalf by former Arsenal captain, Thiery Henry.

Spain’s Aitana Bonmati won the Best Women’s Award for her exploits for Barcelona and World Cup champions, Spain, while England’s Mary Earp won the Best Women’s Goalkeeper title.

Ederson of Manchester City won Best Men’s Goalkeeper, just as Guilherme Madruga of Botafogo, Brazil, won the Puskas Award for his goal against Novorizontino in the Brazilian second division.

Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola took the Best Men’s Coach Award, while England manager, Sarina Wiegman won the women’s version.


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