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Why Lionel Messi beat Erling Haaland to FIFA Best Award despite pair registering same points tally in voting

Lionel Messi edged out Erling Haaland to be named men’s player of the year at the FIFA Best Awards on Monday.

The Inter Miami star narrowly beat Haaland with Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe in third.

Messi, who began 2023 at PSG before moving to Inter Miami in June, picked up the prize for a third time since the format of the awards began eight years ago.

The 36-year-old netted nine goal for PSG as they won the French Ligue 1 title and claimed 10 goals in seven games as Inter Miami won the inaugural Leagues Cup in the United States, the club’s first ever trophy.

Meanwhile, Haaland notched a Premier League record 36 goals last season, and a club record 52 goals in all competitions as City claimed a Champions League, FA Cup and Premier League treble.

Third placed Mbappe, like Messi won the Ligue 1 title with PSG and clinched a fifth consecutive Golden Boot.

The 25-year-old scored 18 goals for the French outfit between the 19 December 2022 to 20 August 2023 – the period the awards were based on.

The FIFA Best Awards traditionally cover a calendar year and are different to the Ballon d’Or awards, which reflect performances across a season.

However, because the Qatar World Cup was included in last year’s ceremony, this year’s award only covered a half-season period.

A mix of votes from fans, journalists, national team managers and captains was published on the FIFA website.

FIFA revealed that Messi and Haaland actually finished on the same amount of points.

However, the former was announced as the winner after recording more first-placed nominations from national team captains.

Among the national team captains who voted for Messi were Mbappe, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Aaron Ramsey and Luka Modric.

Ilkay Gundogan and Casemiro voted for Haaland, as did Messi himself.

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