FIFA The Best 2023 award nominees list: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland shortlisted


FIFA updated their shortlists for the The Best awards for 2023 in what will be a mirror of the 2023 Ballon d’Or battle.

Lionel Messi scooped his eighth Ballon d’Or at the end of 2023, with the Inter Miami star finishing ahead of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe respectively in the final count.

The trio are the confirmed finalists for the men’s award in The Best FIFA Football Awards, with Messi the current holder following his success in 2022.

The awards include numerous categories alongside the men’s trophy, with individual honours for the leading female player, coach and the iconic Puskas Award for the best goal.

MORE: Lionel Messi predicts Ballon d’Or winners: Inter Miami star names future heirs to France Football award

What are FIFA The Best awards?

The Best FIFA Football Awards have been handed out since 2017 as part of FIFA’s plan to create an award solely within their organisation.

Previously FIFA partnered with France Football as a partner in the legendary Ballon d’Or award, but that partnership ended in 2016, and FIFA embarked on its own set of awards for the top players and coaches in the sport.

The Ballon d’Or has been in circulation since 1956, and despite the profile of FIFA as the world’s governing football body, The Best awards still have some catching up to do to be considered with the same prestige as the Ballon d’Or.

When is FIFA The Best 2023 awards?

FIFA confirmed the award ceremony will take place on January 15, 2024 in London, England.

FIFA The Best 2023 nominations

From an initial list of 12 players nominated, FIFA have cut that to three, with the same three players shortlisted in 2023 as in 2022.

Men’s Player

  • Lionel Messi (Inter Miami / Argentina)
  • Kylian Mbappe (PSG / France)
  • Erling Haaland (Manchester City / Norway)

Women’s Player

Spain star Aitana Bonmati won the 2023 Ballon d’Or Feminin and she is predicted to win the FIFA The Best ‘double’ ahead of La Roja teammate Jenni Hermoso.

  • Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona / Spain)
  • Jenni Hermoso (FC Pachuca / Spain)
  • Linda Caicedo (Real Madrid/Deportivo Cali / Colombia)

Men’s goalkeeper

Messi’s Argentina teammate Emiliano Martinez has not been nominated to defend his title from 2022 after not being included on the initial five players shortlist.

  • Yassine Bounou (Sevilla/Al Hilal / Morocco)
  • Thiabaut Courtois (Real Madrid / Belgium)
  • Ederson (Manchester City / Brazil)

Men’s Coach

Lionel Scaloni won the 2022 award, after leading Messi and Argentina to the 2022 World Cup title, but the 2023 shortlist is made up of club managers.

  • Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
  • Simone Inzaghi (Inter Milan)
  • Luciano Spalletti (Napoli/Italy)

Women’s Goalkeeper

England star Mary Earps could be set to retain her title in the 2023 awards but the Manchester United stopper faces two fresh challengers this time.

  • Mary Earps (Manchester United / England)
  • Cata Coll (Barcelona / Spain)
  • Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham United / Australia)

Women’s coach

The 2022 winner Sarina Wiegman is again on the 2023 shortlist and her competition comes from two club managers.

  • Sarina Wiegman (England)
  • Jonathan Giraldez (Barcelona)
  • Emma Hayes (Chelsea)

FIFA Puskas Award

The FIFA Puskas Award is always highly sought-after as it honours the best goal scored that year and three special strikes have made it onto the final list.

  • Julio Enciso (Brighton & Hove Albion )
  • Guilherme Madruga (Botafogo CF)
  • Nuno Santos (Sporting Lisbon)

FIFA Fan Award

The FIFA Fan Award acknowledges fan gestures and shows of support to their team with the list decided by FIFA experts.

FIFA The Best former winners

Below is the full updated tables of former winners in the main awards since 2016.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award

Year Player Club Nation
2022 Lionel Messi PSG Argentina
2021 Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich Poland
2020 Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich Poland
2019 Lionel Messi Barcelona Argentina
2018 Luka Modric Real Madrid Croatia
2017 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Portugal
2016 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Portugal

The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper Award

Year Player Club Nation
2022 Emiliano Martinez Aston Villa Argentina
2021 Edouard Mendy Chelsea Senegal
2020 Manuel Neuer Bayern Munich Germany
2019 Alisson Liverpool Brazil
2018 Thibaut Courtois Chelsea/Real Madrid Belgium
2017 Gianluigi Buffon Juventus Italy

The Best FIFA Men’s Coach Award

Year Player Team Nationality
2022 Lionel Scaloni Argentina Argentina
2021 Thomas Tuchel Chelsea Germany
2020 Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Germany
2019 Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Germany
2018 Didier Deschamps France France
2017 Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid France
2016 Claudio Ranieri Leicester City Italy

The Best FIFA Women’s Player Award

Year Player Club Nation
2022 Alexia Putellas Barcelona Spain
2021 Alexia Putellas Barcelona Spain
2020 Lucy Bronze Lyon/Man City England
2019 Megan Rapinoe Reign FC USA
2018 Marta Orlando Pride Brazil
2017 Lieke Martens Rosengard/Barcelona Netherlands
2016 Carli Lloyd Houston Dash USA

The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper Award

Year Player Club Nation
2022 Mary Earps Manchester United England
2021 Christiane Endler PSG Chile
2020 Sarah Bouhaddi Lyon France
2019 Sari van Veenendaal Arsenal/Atletico Madrid Netherlands

The Best FIFA Women’s Coach Award

Year Player Team Nationality
2022 Sarina Wiegman England Netherlands
2021 Emma Hayes Chelsea England
2020 Sarina Weigman Netherlands Netherlands
2019 Jill Ellis England USA
2018 Reynald Pedros Lyon France
2017 Sarina Wiegman Netherlands Netherlands
2016 Silvia Neid Germany Germany

FIFA Puskas Award โ€” the prize for the best goal

Year Player Team Match / Goal
2022 Marcin Oleksy Warta Poznan vs. Stal Rzeszow
2021 Erik Lamela Tottenham vs. Arsenal (1-0)
2020 Son Heung-Min Tottenham vs. Burnley (3-0)
2019 Daniel Zsori Debrecen vs. Ferencvaros (2-1)
2018 Mohamed Salah Liverpool vs. Everton (1-0)
2017 Oliver Giroud Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace (1-0)
2016 Mohd Faiz Subri Penang vs. Pahang (4-1)
2015 Wendell Lira Goianesia vs. Atletico Goianiense (1-0)
2014 James Rodriguez Colombia vs. Uruguay (1-0)
2013 Zlatan Ibrahimovic Sweden vs. England (4-2)
2012 Miroslav Stoch Fenerbahce vs. Genclerbirligi (6-1)
2011 Neymar Santos vs. Flamengo (4-5)
2010 Hamit Altintop Turkey vs. Kazakhstan (2-0)
2009 Cristiano Ronaldo Man United vs. Porto (1-0)



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