Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, and Kylian Mbappé are at the forefront of the 12-player shortlist for FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player nominations. This prestigious list also includes England midfielder Declan Rice, recognized for his leadership in guiding former club West Ham United to victory in the Europa Conference League.
Messi, the captain of Argentina, who now plies his trade with MLS team Inter Miami, is vying for his third FIFA Best Men’s Player award, having previously claimed the honor in 2019 and 2022. Despite his pivotal role in Argentina’s World Cup triumph at Qatar 2022, Messi faces formidable competition from Erling Haaland, the prolific Norway international who scored an impressive 52 goals while helping Manchester City secure a remarkable Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup treble last season.
The shortlist also features talented players such as Julián Álvarez, Marcelo Brozovic, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gündogan, Rodri, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Victor Osimhen, and Bernardo Silva, alongside the aforementioned trio of Messi, Haaland, and Mbappé.
In the women’s category, Spain, champions of the Women’s World Cup in Australia last month, boast four representatives on the 12-name shortlist: Aitana Bonmatí, Jenni Hermoso, Mapi León, and Salma Paralluelo. They aim to succeed La Roja midfielder Alexia Putellas as the winner of the coveted award. Other nominees include Linda Caicedo, Rachel Daly, Kadidiatou Diani, Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Alex Greenwood, Amanda Ilestedt, Lauren James, Sam Kerr, Hinata Miyazawa, and Keira Walsh, with Lindsey Horan being the sole representative from the United States on the shortlist.
Voting for the eighth annual FIFA awards has commenced on FIFA.com and will conclude in mid-October. The list of voters comprises national team coaches, captains, journalists, and fans who will collectively determine the winners in these prestigious categories.