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Lionel Messi only won Fifa The Best gong thanks to little-known rule after finishing level on points with Erling Haaland

LIONEL MESSI pipped Erling Haaland to Fifa’s The Best award thanks to a little-known rule.

The pair finished with the same number of votes from national team captains, managers, a media panel and fan vote for the gong.

Lionel Messi beat Erling Haaland to Fifa's The Best award thanks to a little-known rule

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Lionel Messi beat Erling Haaland to Fifa’s The Best award thanks to a little-known ruleCredit: Getty
Haaland finished on the same number of points as Messi after the votes were tallied

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Haaland finished on the same number of points as Messi after the votes were talliedCredit: Reuters

However, it was Messi who won The Best men’s player trophy for a record third time.

Both he and Haaland scored 48 points once the votes had been tallied, ahead of third nominee Kylian Mbappe on 35 points.

Of his votes, though, Messi had more from the national team captains to see him named winner on the tiebreak.

England skipper Harry Kane was amongst those to pick the World Cup winner ahead of Haaland.

Messi was not present at Monday’s ceremony to collect his award, though, with host Thierry Henry collecting the trophy on his behalf.

The 36-year-old started 2023 with Paris Saint-Germain before a summer move to MLS side Inter Miami in the summer.

He scored nine goals for PSG as they won Ligue 1 last season, which he followed with 10 strikes in seven games to inspire Inter Miami to the inaugural Leagues Cup.

As for Haaland, the Norwegian’s 36 Premier League goals in 2022-23 saw him win the European Golden Boot.

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Across all competitions, the City striker scored a club-record 52 goals as he helped power Pep Guardiola’s side to the treble.

Elsewhere at Monday’s ceremony, Spain’s Aitana Bonmati was named the best women’s player.

City’s Pep Guardiola and Ederson picked up the men’s coach and goalkeeper gongs.

Meanwhile, Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman claimed the best women’s coach award, with Mary Earps named best goalkeeper.

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