Lionel Messi clinched the FIFA Best Men’s Player Award for the third time in his illustrious career, triumphing over competitors Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé. The timeline for consideration spanned from December 19, 2022, after Messi led Argentina to World Cup victory, to August 20, 2023.
Messi’s accolade was attributed to his impactful performances with PSG and later with Inter Miami, securing another Ligue 1 title for PSG and guiding Miami to their inaugural trophy, the Leagues Cup. On the international stage, he played a pivotal role in Argentina’s dominance in the CONMEBOL’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification.
Despite not attending the award ceremony in London, Messi’s exceptional 2023 included winning his 44th trophy with Inter Miami, solidifying his status as the most-awarded football player in history. His remarkable journey involved a triumphant stint with PSG, followed by a move to MLS in July, where he inspired Miami to their historic victory in the Leagues Cup.
The award’s three nominees were selected through collaboration with football stakeholders, with final voting conducted by journalists, fans, national team captains, and managers. Messi’s win adds to his previous FIFA Best titles in 2019 and the previous year, complementing his record-breaking eight Ballon d’Or awards.
Haaland, who joined Manchester City in 2022, contributed to a historic treble in his debut season, while Mbappé, Messi’s former teammate at PSG, continued to lead Ligue 1’s goal-scoring charts. The full list of men’s awards also recognized notable achievements, including the Puskás Award, FIFA Fair Play Award, FIFA Fan Award, and individual honors for Men’s Coach of the Year (Pep Guardiola), Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year (Éderson), and the Men’s World XI.