Updated January 16th, 2024 at 14:39 IST

FIFA Best Awards: Sunil Chhetri and Igor Stimac's votes unveiled as Lionel Messi secures victory

The votes cast for the FIFA Best Awards 2023 by India's captain Sunil Chettri and head coach Igor Stimac will surprise you.

Aryan Suraj Chadha
Igor Stimac, Lionel MEssi and Sunil Chhetri
Igor Stimac, Lionel MEssi and Sunil Chhetri | Image:X/Indian Football, AP, PTI

Lionel Messi won the Best FIFA Men's Player Award for the third year in a row after a tight battle with Erling Haaland. On Monday, January 16, 2024, during a magnificent event in London, the prestigious Best FIFA Women's Player Award was bestowed upon Aitana Bonmati, a prolific striker hailing from Barcelona and Spain.  

3 things you need to know 

  • Lionel Messi won the FIFA Men’s Player Award 
  • Aitana Bonmati received the FIFA Women’s Player Award 
  • Pep Guardiola won ‌Best Men's Manager of the Year award

Also Read: Cristiano Ronaldo sends big message following Messi's triumph


FIFA voting system for the Best Player Award

Argentina captain Lionel Messi won the 2023 FIFA Best Award, beating off opposition from the players from Manchester City's Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe. The news was made at a renowned award event in London.


A varied panel of national team leaders, coaches, journalists, and fans deliberated on the Best Award recipient, with each having a 25% say in the final choice. FIFA has now released the complete list of voters and their choices, offering a fascinating glimpse into the brains determining this momentous conclusion.

According to FIFA's analysis, Messi and Haaland both collected the same number of points (48), escalating their closely contested race. Messi, on the other hand, won because he received more first-place votes from national team captains than Haaland, culminating in his coronation at the big event in London.


Also Read: Lionel Messi, Bonmati claim top honours: Check list of FIFA Awards 2023


India did not vote for Messi

When it came to the 2023 FIFA Best Award, India captain Sunil Chhetri voted, and Haaland was his top pick. He ranked Victor Osimhen of Napoli in third place and Rodri, a midfielder for Manchester City, in second place.


Igor Stimac, the head coach of India, cast his vote for Rodri to take home the prize. The striker for Manchester City and Argentina, Julian Alvarez, received his vote for second place, while De Bruyne came in third.

Dhiman Sarkar, an Indian journalist, voted for Haaland and placed Osimhen third and De Bruyne second in his ballot.


What were other interesting votes? 

Other noteworthy votes were Messi's endorsement of Haaland for the FIFA Best Award, which put Alvarez in third place, above his former teammate Mbappe. In response, Mbappe cast his vote for Messi as his first pick, placing Haaland and De Bruyne in second and third place, respectively.


As Norway's captain, Haaland was not allowed to vote, thus Arsenal's Martin Odegaard cast a ballot in Haaland's place. Odegaard placed Messi and Mbappe in second and third place, respectively, behind Haaland in first place.

The captain of Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo, gave the defender Pepe the task of voting for him. Pepe chose midfielder Bernardo Silva of Manchester City and Portugal as his first pick; Haaland came in second and Osimhen in third. 


Published January 16th, 2024 at 14:39 IST

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