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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi Secures FIFA Men’s Player of the Year Title, Aitana Bonmati Named Best Women’s Player

London, January 16, 2024, The Europe Today: Argentine football icon Lionel Messi clinched the FIFA men’s player of the year trophy for the second consecutive time on Monday, triumphing over Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe. Messi, instrumental in Argentina’s World Cup victory in 2022, added the Ligue 1 title with PSG before joining MLS team Inter Miami.

The 36-year-old maestro, voted the best player by coaches, captains, journalists, and fans, played a pivotal role in Inter Miami’s 2023 Leagues Cup win, scoring 10 goals. Despite Messi’s absence at the ceremony, his stellar performances earned him the coveted award.

The men’s prize period ran from Dec. 19, 2022, to Aug. 20, 2023. Haaland, who contributed significantly to City’s treble-winning season, finished second in the voting, narrowly losing to Messi. Pep Guardiola, City’s manager, secured the Best Men’s Coach award, dedicating it to fellow nominees Simone Inzaghi and Luciano Spalletti.

Inzaghi guided Inter Milan to the 2023 Champions League final, where they lost to City, while Spalletti won Serie A with Napoli after a 33-year wait. Sarina Wiegman claimed the Best Women’s Coach prize after leading England to the World Cup final, where they narrowly lost to Spain.

Ederson, the Manchester City goalkeeper from Brazil, secured the men’s Best Goalkeeper Award, while seven England players, including Mary Earps, featured in the Women’s World XI. Aitana Bonmati, Spain’s World Cup winner in 2023, was honored as the Best Women’s Player of the Year.