How Lionel Messi Won FIFA Best Award Despite Tying Votes with Erling Haaland

Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland both got the same number of votes for the FIFA Best Men’s Player award. But Messi won because the votes from national team captains count for more, and he got more of those votes.

Messi snagged the award at The Best FIFA Football Awards in London on Monday. The forward for Inter Miami and Argentina outdid his competition – Manchester City’s Haaland and PSG’s Kylian Mbappe – to take home the trophy.

Messi and Haaland both got 48 points, putting them in a tie. However, the rules made sure there were no ties on the night of the ceremony. Messi got more votes from national team captains, which tipped the scale in his favor.

The 36-year-old chose not to show up in London to get his award. Instead, his ex-Barcelona teammate, Thierry Henry, who hosted the show, received the award for Messi.

Apart from winning the Best FIFA Men’s Player award, Messi also made it into the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World XI. His fellow nominees Haaland and Mbappe made the cut, along with some Manchester City players – John Stones, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Kevin De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva.

Messi has now won the FIFA Best Men’s Player award in 2019, 2022, and 2023. This latest victory puts him ahead of rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who won it twice since it started in 2016.

The winners of The Best FIFA Men’s Player, Best Coach, and Best Women’s Player awards are decided through voting involving four groups: national team captains, national team coaches, journalists, and fans. FIFA says each group’s vote counts for 25%.

Voters rank three players, giving five points to the first, three to the second, and one to the third. After the votes are in, the player with the most points wins.

In case of a tie, the player with more first-choice votes wins. If the tie persists, they look at the player with more votes from all team captains, or if needed, team coaches, before considering other tie-break methods set by FIFA.

Messi added another feather to his cap by getting his eighth Ballon d’Or earlier in the year, breaking the record for the most wins and surpassing Haaland. Despite Haaland’s achievements, winning the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and FA Cup, along with scoring 52 goals, Messi walked away with the trophy after the tie on votes.

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