National Team Captains That Helped Lionel Messi Win 2023 FIFA The Best Award Revealed

Lionel Messi almost lost the 2023 FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year award to Erling Haaland but was saved by the votes of the national team captains.

Ahead of the award ceremony which took place in London on January 15, most football pundits believe that Haaland of Manchester City deserves to win the award over Lionel Messi.

Note that the players were nominated for the award based on their performance between December 19, 2022, and August 20, 2023.

In that time frame, the 36-year-old Messi played for two clubs, Paris Saint Germain in French Ligue 1, and Inter Miami in the Major League Soccer.

The two major titles Messi won during that period were the French Ligue 1 with PSG and the Leagues Cup with Inter Miami.

In the same period, Haaland helped Manchester City to win the historic treble which includes: the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League after scoring 53 goals throughout the 2022-2023 season.

Due to such a run, most football enthusiasts expected him to win the award but Messi beat him to it just like how the 36-year-old Argentine football icon beat the Norwegian striker to the 2023 Ballon d’Or.

After the voting process for the 2023 FIFA The Best Award, Messi got 48 votes same as Haaland. Hence, the organizers of the award had to use the number of times the two main contenders came first in the voting cards of national team captains.

Interestingly, Messi came first the most, hence he was named the winner of the award for the third time in his career.

Below are the major national team captains that voted for Lionel Messi:

1. Egypt’s captain, Mohamed Salah
2. Croatia’s captain Luka Modric
3. England’s captain Harry Kane
4. The Netherlands’ captain Virgil Van Dijk.
5. Jan Oblak, captain of Slovenia
6. Robert Lewandowski, captain of Poland
7. Gianluigi Donnaruma, captain of Italy
8. Son Heung-Min – South Korea
9. Christian Pulisic – United States Of America
10. Federico Valverde – Uruguay
11. Romelu Lukaku – Belgium
12. Andrew Robertson – Scotland
13. Radamel Falcao – Colombia
14. Granit Xhaka – Switzerland
15. Kylian Mbappe – France

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