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Messi named FIFA player of 2023, Spain’s Bonmati wins women’s award

Lionel Messi of Argentina won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year title on Monday, defeating Manchester City’s treble-winning Norwegian attacker Erling Haaland and France’s Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe.

Aitana Bonmati, Spain’s 2023 World Cup champion, was named the best women’s player of the year.

Messi, who won the men’s award in 2022 after leading Argentina to World Cup glory, won the Ligue 1 championship with PSG with Mbappe before joining Major League Soccer club Inter Miami.

The 36-year-old, voted the best player by national teams coaches, captains, journalists and fans, helped Inter Miami win the 2023 Leagues Cup — a competition between MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX sides — scoring 10 goals.

Messi was not present to collect the trophy.

The award period for the men’s prize ran from Dec. 19, 2022 to Aug. 20, 2023, and started the day after the World Cup final in Qatar.

Haaland, who helped City clinch a treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles by scoring 52 goals in 53 matches across all competitions in the 2022-23 season, finished second in the voting.

The 23-year-old had the same points as Messi but lost out by having fewer first-place votes from national team captains.

City’s Pep Guardiola won the Best Men’s Coach Award. The Spaniard, who before winning the treble with City last term had achieved the same feat at Barcelona in 2008-09, dedicated his award to fellow nominees Simone Inzaghi and Luciano Spalletti.

Inzaghi guided Inter Milan to the 2023 Champions League final, where they lost 1-0 to City, while Spalletti won Serie A with Napoli to end the club’s 33-year wait for the title.

Sarina Wiegman claimed the Best Women’s coach prize after leading England to the World Cup final where they lost 1-0 to Spain.

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.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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