World Football

Top five favourites to win Best FIFA Men’s Player Award 2023

Syed Talib HaiderSyed Talib Haider

September 18 2023
Top five favourites to win Best FIFA Men's Player Award 2023 Lionel Messi Erling Haaland

Haaland seems to be an inevitable winner of the award

FIFA has officially released the list of 12 nominees for the Best FIFA Men’s Player Award for the 2023 edition. Keep in mind that these 12 players have been selected based on their performance between December 19, 2022, and August 20, 2023. Therefore, the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar will not be taken into consideration.

Getting straight to the point, here are our top five favourites to win the award, ranked from most likely (1st) to least likely (5th). Just a heads up: Manchester City players are clearly dominating the top 5 due to their outstanding performance during the season.

Favourites to win Best FIFA Men’s Player Award 2023

5. Kylian Mbappe- France/PSG

Kylian Mbappe Real Madrid Best FIFA Men's Player Award 2023
Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick in the FIFA World Cup 2022 final

Similarly to Messi’s case, Kylian Mbappe‘s performances at the World Cup were far ahead of someone his age. However, during his time at PSG, Ligue 1 was the only major trophy they secured. The young French superstar had undoubtedly hoped for better.

Instead, since then, he has been embroiled in a saga with Real Madrid. While this doesn’t directly impact the rankings, there are no prominent instances or statistics to support the PSG duo for a higher-place finish on the list. Surely, not one, surpassing the treble winners!

4. Lionel Messi- Argentina/PSG

What is preventing Lionel Messi from being in the top two among the favourites to win the FIFA Award? Well, for starters, we shouldn’t consider the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Apart from that, the Argentine maestro had a somewhat challenging season with PSG. It wasn’t his fault, as he still managed to score goals and provide assists for the Ligue 1 champions. However, the dream of winning the UCL just didn’t come true yet again!

Back then, at the age of 35, Messi gave his all, but he couldn’t pull off a final trick. While he did win the long-awaited World Cup, it doesn’t really matter for the FIFA Award in 2023 due to the timelines.

3. Rodri- Spain/Manchester City

EA FC 24 Rodri Manchester City Best FIFA Men's Player Award 2023
Rodri is one of the key players for Pep’s Manchester City

Rodri has proven that he has taken the mantle from the likes of Casemiro and Busquets already, making the Defensive Midfield role his own. He was the one player who seemed to be everywhere on the pitch for Pep Guardiola‘s Manchester City during the 2022-23 season. Many, who had hailed Rodri as the best Defensive Midfielder ‘to-be’ when he signed, will now feel vindicated in their assessment.

It is no fluke that the Spaniard is on this list, and it should come as no surprise if he finishes second in the final rankings. Let’s not forget that it was Rodri’s screamer that secured Manchester City the long-awaited UCL victory against Inter Milan.

2. Kevin De Bruyne- Belgium/Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City Best FIFA
Kevin De Bruyne played a huge role in Manchester City’s treble win

To be honest, the treble could make a case for the majority of the Manchester City players to feature on this list. But, being realistic, Kevin De Bruyne has been one of the most consistent players for the Sky Blues since his move to Manchester from Wolfsburg.

Furthermore, statistically speaking, after the World Cup, De Bruyne has assisted in 18 goals and scored seven more in all competitions. Moreover, he captained the side in games en route to a historic club treble.

1. Erling Haaland- Norway/Manchester City

If there are any doubts regarding him being the first pick, well, this should clear it. Pep Guardiola was under scrutiny for not being able to win the Champions League with this City side, despite all the spending. However, it only took the Spaniard one signing- Erling Haaland– to rev it up and finally silence all the critics.

Following the World Cup, until the end of the 2022-23 season, the Norwegian Viking has contributed to a total of 35 goals for Manchester City- 29 goals and six assists- in all competitions, clinching the Premier League, the Champions League, and the FA Cup to complete the treble.

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