BREAKING: Messi beats Haaland to Best FIFA Men’s award

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Messi won the award mostly for his work at PSG and Inter Miami, having helped the French giants to another Ligue 1 title before moving to MLS in July and inspiring Miami to their first-ever trophy, the Leagues Cup.

At international level, Messi helped Argentina to top CONMEBOL’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification table after six games.

Messi was not in attendance in London to collect the award.The three nominees for the award were compiled, FIFA said, in collaboration with its “football stakeholders,” with shortlists determined by two separate panels of former players and coaches. The winner of the award was then voted between journalists, fans, national team captains and managers.

The award is Messi’s third FIFA The Best title — his first coming in 2019 and second coming last year. He has also won a record eight Ballon d’Or awards.

Messi had a whirlwind 2023, the first half of which he won the French top-flight for a second time but was booed by fans in his final games following a second-successive round-of-16 exit from the Champions League.

The height of Messi’s season came after he joined Miami in July, when he swiftly inspired the club to win the Leagues Cup with a series of individual heroics, although the club missed out on the MLS Playoffs.

Haaland joined City from Borussia Dortmund in June 2022 and helped the club to a historic treble in his debut season, during which he scored an incredible 52 goals in 53 matches in all competitions, including 36 goals in the Premier League — a single-season record.

The Norway international has enjoyed a similarly prolific spell this season, with 19 goals in 22 games in all competitions.

Mbappé played with Messi at PSG at the end of last season, and the France international chose to stay at the club, where he continues to lead Ligue 1’s goalscoring charts, although he could leave at the end of the season with his contract due to expire in June.

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