The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2023: Six Manchester City players among 12 nominees, Messi included, Ronaldo out


Manchester City player Bernardo Silva, Erling Haaland and
Image Source : GETTY Manchester City player Bernardo Silva, Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne during an EPL match in August 2022

Football’s governing body FIFA unveiled nominees for The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2023 award on Thursday, September 14. As many as six Manchester City stars dominated the 12-men nominees list after the club’s historic treble during the 2022-23 season. Last year’s winner Lionel Messi also features in the nominees but two-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo misses out for the first time since the award’s inception in 2016.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, formerly known as FIFA World Player of the Year later became the FIFA Ballon d’Or. FIFA revealed 12 players based on their performances for the club and country from 19 December 2022 to 20 August 2023. As predicted, Manchester City players occupied half the spots and one of them is likely to dethrone Lionel Messi this year.

Messi captained Argentina in the FIFA World Cup 2022 and claimed the glory to take his name at the top. However, he was not at his best with Paris Saint-Germain last season and left the club on a free transfer to join USA’s Inter Miami. Messi trumped Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema to clinch the award last year and faces strong competition for the former again.

Mbappe was the best striker in the FIFA World Cup 2022 where he won the Golden Boot award for his eight goals and also shone at the club level to guide PSG to a record-breaking 11th Ligue 1 title. But both Messi and Mbappe face competition from Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne for the prestigious award.

Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Julian Alvarez and the recently left Ilkay Gundogan are four other Manchester City stars named in 12 nominees this year. The Citizens claimed their first-ever UEFA Champions League title and also clinched the English Premier League and FA Cup 2023 titles to dominate European football.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2023 nominees:

  • Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)
  • Erling Haaland (Manchester City and Norway)
  • Julian Alvarez (Manchester City and Argentina)
  • Rodri (Manchester City and Spain)
  • Bernardo Silva (Manchester City and Portugal)
  • Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona/Manchester City and Germany)
  • Lionel Messi (Inter Miami/PSG and Argentina)
  • Kylian Mbappe (PSG and France)
  • Declan Rice (Arsenal/Manchester City and England)
  • Marcelo Brozovic (Al Nassr/Inter Milan and Croatia)
  • Victor Osimhen (Napoli and Nigeria)
  • Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli and Georgia)

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