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The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023: Best Men’s Player, FIFPro World XI, winner and date

Cameron Smith
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Inter Miami, Al-Nassr
© ProShots

FIFA no longer runs the prestigious Ballon d’Or prize, but it does now oversee its own in-house ‘The Best FIFA Football Awards’; an event that is still a landmark ceremony every year.

The biggest prize on offer is the Best Men’s Player of the Year award, but there are also several other big honours handed out every year, including the FIFPro World XI, the Puskas Award for the best goal scored and the Best Women’s player.

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Furthermore, recognition is also given to the top coaches in the men’s and women’s games.

Here at FootballTransfers, we have compiled everything you need to know ahead of the 2023 iteration of The Best FIFA Football Awards.

What is the shortlist for The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023?

The final shortlists for The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023 were announced on 13 December 2023, with the FIFA FIFPro XI shortlist announced on 3 January 2024. They were as follows:

The Best Fifa Men’s Player: Erling Haaland (Man City), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Lionel Messi (Inter Miami).

The Best Fifa Men’s Goalkeeper: Yassine Bounou (Al-Hilal), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Ederson (Man City).

The Best Fifa Men’s Coach: Pep Guardiola (Man City), Simone Inzaghi (Inter), Luciano Spalletti (Napoli).

The Best Fifa Women’s Player: Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona), Linda Caicedo (Real Madrid), Jenni Hermoso (Pachuca).

The Best Fifa Women’s Goalkeeper: Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham), Catalina Coll (Barcelona), Mary Earps (Man Utd).

The Best Fifa Women’s Coach: Jonatan Giraldez (Barcelona), Emma Hayes (Chelsea), Sarina Wiegmann (England).

Fifa Puskas Award: Julio Enciso (Brighton v Manchester City), Guilherme Madruga (Novorizontino v Botafogo FC-SP), Nuno Santos (Sporting v Boavista).

Fifa Fan Award:Colon fan, Fran Hurndall, Miguel Angel (Millonarios).

FIFA FifPro World XI:Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid, Belgium), Ederson (Manchester City, Brazil), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa, Argentina)

Defenders: Ruben Dias (Manchester City, Portugal), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool, Netherlands), Eder Militao (Real Madrid, Brazil), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid, Germany). John Stones (Manchester City, England), Kyle Walker (Manchester City, England)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund/Real Madrid, England), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City, Belgium), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City/Barcelona, Germany), Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia), Rodri (Manchester City, Spain), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City, Portugal), Federico Valverde (Real Madrid, Uruguay)

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/Al-Ittihad, France), Erling Haaland (Manchester City, Norway), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur/Bayern Munich, England). Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain/Inter Miami, Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Al-Nassr, Portugal), Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid, Brazil).

Messi and Haaland are the two favourites for the main men’s award, while it is believed to be a certainty that Bonmati will take the women’s award.

The initial long shortlists for The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023 were announced on 14 September 2023. They were as follows.

The Best Fifa Men’s Player:Julian Alvarez (Argentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia), Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium), Ilkay Gundogan (Germany), Erling Haaland (Norway), Rodri (Spain), Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Georgia), Kylian Mbappe (France), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Victor Osimhen (Nigeria), Declan Rice (England), Bernardo Silva (Portugal).

The Best Fifa Men’s Goalkeeper: Yassine Bounou (Morocco), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Ederson (Brazil), Andre Onana (Cameroon), Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Germany).

The Best Fifa Men’s Coach: Pep Guardiola (Man City), Simone Inzaghi (Inter), Ange Postecoglou (Celtic and Tottenham), Luciano Spalletti (Napoli), Xavi (Barcelona).

The Best Fifa Women’s Player:Aitana Bonmati (Spain), Linda Caicedo (Colombia), Rached Daly (England), Kadidiatou Diani (France), Caitlin Foord (Australia), Mary Fowler (Australia), Alex Greenwood (England), Jenni Hermoso (Spain), Lindsey Horan (USA), Amanda Ilestedt (Sweden), Lauren James (England), Sam Kerr (Australia), Mapi Leon (Spain), Hinata Miyazawa (Japan), Salma Parelluelo (Spain), Keira Walsh (England).

The Best Fifa Women’s Goalkeeper:Mackenzie Arnold (Australia), Ann-Katrin Berger (Germany), Cata Coll (Spain), Mary Earps (England), Christiane Endler (Chile), Zecira Musovic (Sweden), Sandra Panos (Spain).

The Best Fifa Women’s Coach: Peter Gerhardsson (Sweden), Jonatan Giraldez (Barcelona), Tony Gustavsson (Australia), Emma Hayes (Chelsea), Sarina Wiegmann (England).

Fifa Puskas Award: Alvaro Barreal (FC Cincinnati vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds), Linda Caicedo (Colombia v Germany), Julio Enciso (Brighton v Man City), Kang Seong-jin (South Korea Under-20 vs Jordan Under-20), Sam Kerr (Australia v England), Brian Lozano (Atlas v America), Guilherme Madruga (Botafogo-SP vs Novorizontino), Ivan Morante (Ibiza vs Burgos), Nuno Santos (Sporting vs Boavista), Askhat Tagybergen (Kazakhstan vs Denmark), Bia Zaneratto (Brazil vs Panama).

Fifa Fan Award:Colon fan, Fran Hurndall, Miguel Angel (Millonarios).

Following the 1990 World Cup in Italy, FIFA decided to launch its own ceremony to celebrate the best player in the world every year. It slowly gained traction, incorporating a women’s award in 2001 alongside several other trophies.

There are now nine awards, as well as a FIFPro 11. Those nine awards are: The Best FIFA Men’s Player, The Best FIFA Women’s Player, The Best FIFA Men’s Coach, The Best FIFA Women’s Coach, FIFA Fair Play Award, FIFA Puskas Award, FIFA Fan Award, The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper and the Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper.

Unlike the Ballon d’Or traditionally, The Best FIFA Football Awards include fans in the voting process, giving the people a voice.

The voting for the FIFA Puskas Award, for example, sees fans vote online for one of the 11 finalists drawn up by a panel of experts, with a final trio then decided.

Fans are responsible for 50 per cent of the votes cast, with a panel of football experts providing the other 50 per cent to decide the eventual winner.

Erling Haaland, Man City
© ProShots – Erling Haaland, Man City

The FIFA Fan Award is entirely decided by fans, with no input from journalists, coaches or players when it comes to determining the winner. Three moments are chosen and fans vote online to ultimately decide the winner.

Fans also have the chance to cast their votes for The Best FIFA Men’s and Women’s Player, The Best FIFA Men’s and Women’s Coach and The Best FIFA Men’s and Women’s Goalkeeper awards.

Fans can vote for their top three favourites per category, with first choice generating five points, second choice three points, and third choice one point.

Fans make up 25 per cent of the vote, with the other 75 per cent coming from: national coaches of FIFA Member Associations, their team captains, and a select group of media from those countries.

The voting window is usually over a two-week period around a month out from the awards ceremony.

When is The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023 ceremony?

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023 ceremony will take place on Monday January 15, 2024 in London.

The Best FIFA Football Awards are given based on performances over the calendar year of January to December, rather than the standard football season of August to May/June.

Thus, the ceremony takes place early in the new year every year.

Where is The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023 ceremony?

The location for The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023 is London. The 2022 awards ceremony took place in Paris.

You can stream the event live on FIFA’s website and YouTube channel.

What is The Best FIFA Men’s Player award?

The Best FIFA Men’s Player award is exactly that – the award given to the best men’s player of the given year.

It is voted on by a number of different groups of people within football and ultimately awarded after the shortening of an original shortlist.

READ MORE: The Best FIFA Football Awards 2021: Best Men’s Player, Puskas Award, favourites and date

READ MORE: The Best FIFA Football Awards 2022: Best Men’s Player, FIFPro World XI, winner and date

Messi won the 2022 award after his triumph in the World Cup, beating Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema to the honour.

Lionel Messi, Argentina
© ProShots – Lionel Messi, Argentina

Past winners of The Best FIFA Men’s Player award and FIFA World Player of the Year

Year Winner
1991 Lothar Matthaus (Germany)
1992 Marco van Basten (Netherlands)
1993 Roberto Baggio (Italy)
1994 Romario (Brazil)
1995 George Weah (Liberia)
1996 Ronaldo (Brazil)
1997 Ronaldo (Brazil)
1998 Zinedine Zidane (France)
1999 Rivaldo (Brazil)
2000 Zinedine Zidane (France)
2001 Luis Figo (Portugal)
2002 Ronaldo (Brazil)
2003 Zinedine Zidane (France)
2004 Ronaldinho (Brazil)
2005 Ronaldinho (Brazil)
2006 Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)
2007 Kaka (Brazil)
2008 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2009 Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2010 Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2011 Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2012 Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2013 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2014 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2015 Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2016 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2017 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2018 Luka Modric (Croatia)
2019 Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2020 Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
2021 Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
2022 Lionel Messi (Argentina)
What is The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award?

Similar to The Best FIFA Men’s Player, but solely for goalkeepers, The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award celebrates the best player in between the sticks each calendar year, to give more recognition to a position that seldom wins individual prizes. The first award was handed out in 2017.

Past winners of The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award

Year Winner
2017 Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
2018 Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)
2019 Alisson Becker (Brazil)
2020 Manuel Neuer (Germany)
2021 Edouard Mendy (Senegal)
2022 Emiliano Martinez (Argentina)

Emiliano Martinez won the award in 2022, beating Yassine Bounou and Thibaut Courtois to the trophy.

Emiliano Martinez and Lionel Messi, Argentina
© ProShots – Emiliano Martinez and Lionel Messi, Argentina

What is The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award?

This award celebrates the work of the best coaches in world football, and it ultimately decides which manager is considered to have been the best over the past 12 months.

The 2022 award went to Lionel Scaloni after Argentina’s World Cup triumph, with Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti finishing as runners up.

Past winners of The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award

Year Winner
2016 Claudio Ranieri (Italy)
2017 Zinedine Zidane (France)
2018 Didier Deschamps (France)
2019 Jurgen Klopp (Germany)
2020 Jurgen Klopp (Germany)
2021 Thomas Tuchel (Germany)
2022 Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)

What is The Best FIFA Women’s Player award?

Just as with The FIFA Best Men’s Player, there is an award for the best female player each calendar year as well. It started in 2001, 10 years after the men’s award was introduced, and brings more recognition and attention to women’s football.

Barcelona Femeni’s Alexia Putellas is the reigning champion.

There are also female awards for The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper, The Best FIFA Women’s Coach and a FIFA FIFPro Women’s World XI.

Past winners of FIFA Women’s Player of Year award

Year Winner
2016 Carli Lloyd (United States)
2017 Lieke Martens (Netherlands)
2018 Marta (Brazil)
2019 Megan Rapinoe (United States)
2020 Lucy Bronze (England)
2021 Alexia Putellas (Spain)
2022 Alexia Putellas (Spain)

What is the FIFA FIFPro Men’s World 11?

Since 2005, the world players’ union FIFPRO has asked professional footballers worldwide to select the best players in the game each calendar year, with over 25,000 players participating in the vote.

The goalkeeper, as well as the three defenders, three midfielders and three forwards who received the most votes are selected for the World 11. The remaining spot in the World 11 is assigned to the outfield player with the next highest number of votes who is not selected already.

The award celebrates the best 11 players in the world each year, and gives players who don’t have a realistic shot at winning the overall award, primarily defensive players, recognition for their work on the pitch.

Lionel Messi has the most appearances in the World 11 with 16, and he moved past Cristiano Ronaldo with his selection in the XI of 2021. Ronaldo has 14 selections, while Sergio Ramos is next in terms of appearances, with 11.

Previous FIFPro Best XIs

2016: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich); Dani Alves (Barcelona/Juventus), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid); Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

2017: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus); Dani Alves (Juventus/Paris-Saint Germain), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/AC Milan), Marcelo (Real Madrid); Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Neymar (PSG)

2018: David de Gea (Manchester United); Dani Alves (PSG), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid); Luka Modric (Real Madrid), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Eden Hazard (Chelsea); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Juventus), Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Kylian Mbappe, PSG
© ProShots – Kylian Mbappe, PSG

2019: Alisson (Liverpool); Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Marcelo (real Madrid); Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona), Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Real Madrid); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

2020:Alisson (Liverpool); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich); Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Thiago (Bayern Munich/Liverpool), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

2021:Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan/PSG); David Alaba (Bayern Munich/Real Madrid), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Ruben Dias (Manchester City); Jorginho (Chelsea), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund).

2022:Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid); Achraf Hakimi (PSG), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Joao Cancelo (Man City/Bayern Munich); Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Casemiro (Real Madrid/Man Utd), Kevin de Bruyne (Man City); Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Erling Haaland (Man City), Lionel Messi (PSG)

What is the FIFA Puskas Award?

Created in 2009 in honour of Real Madrid icon Ferenc Puskas, captain and star of the Hungary national team during the 1950s, the FIFA Puskas Award is handed out to the player judged to have scored the best goal of the year.

The criteria are: an aesthetically beautiful goal, awarded without distinction of championship, gender or nationality.

Amputee football star Marcin Oleksy won the 2022 FIFA Puskás Award for his brilliant scissor-kick goal.

What is the FIFA Fair Play Award?

The FIFA Fair Play award recognises exemplary behaviour that promotes fair play, sportsmanship and compassion in football. It can be awarded to a player, a coach, a team, fans or even entire footballing communities. The winner in 2022 was Luka Lochoshvili, who saved the life of an opponent by dislodging his tongue after a collision.

What is the FIFA Fan Award?

The FIFA Fan award was created in 2016 and celebrates the best fan moment or event across the calendar year. 2022’s winner was Argentina fans.

Who will present The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony for 2023?

The presenters for the 2023 The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony have not been revealed yet.

Ex-England international Jermaine Jenas and Samantha Johnson were the hosts for 2022, while Jenas was accompanied by broadcaster Reshmin Chowdhury in 2021.

Are The Best FIFA Football Awards and the Ballon d’Or the same?

No, they are not. The Ballon d’Or is a ceremony founded and run by France Football, whereas The Best FIFA Football Awards were founded and run by FIFA. They are two separate awards, although between 2010 and 2015, they merged together to form the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

They separated for 2016 and have remained two different awards since then. Before the merge, The Best FIFA Football Awards was known as FIFA World Player of the Year.

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