FIFA Best Awards: Little Known Rule That Helped Messi Beat Haaland to Prestigious Prize

FIFA Best Awards: Little Known Rule That Helped Messi Beat Haaland to Prestigious Prize

Fred Kennedy
updated at January 16, 2024 at 8:01 AM
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  • Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland were tied on 48 points in the Best FIFA Men's award
  • However, a little-known rule saw Messi beat the Manchester City striker to the prize
  • Messi won the prestigious award weeks after he won the Ballon d'Or ahead of Haaland

Details have emerged on a little-known rule that helped Lionel Messi beat Erling Haaland to the Best FIFA Men's Player of the Year prize.

The two football stars were the frontrunners for the award alongside Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe and Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane.

Lionel Messi is announced as the winner of the FIFA Best Men's Award during the Best FIFA Football Awards 2023 at The Apollo Theatre. Photo by Joe Maher.
Lionel Messi is announced as the winner of the FIFA Best Men's Award during the Best FIFA Football Awards 2023 at The Apollo Theatre. Photo by Joe Maher.
Source: Getty Images

Haaland earned a nomination for the gong after an incredible year with Manchester City that saw him win the treble.

According to BBC, the Norwegian hotshot scored a record 36 Premier League goals last season and a club record of 52 goals across competitions.

His impressive performances put him in contention for the FIFA award, just weeks after he missed out on the Ballon d'Or award to Messi.

However, the youngster was once again beaten to the gong by the Argentine during the awards gala on Monday night.

Little-known rule helps Messi win FIFA award

It is understood that Messi and Haaland finished with the same number of votes from national team captains, managers, a media panel and fan vote for the award.

The duo garnered 48 points each, eight points more than the third nominee, Mbappe.

As such, Sky Sports reports that a tiebreaker was needed to determine the winner of the gong.

According to the publication, the final decision went to national team captain votes, where Messi finally pipped Haaland.

All four home nation skippers, including Harry Kane (England), Andy Robertson (Scotland), Aaron Ramsey (Wales) and Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland) - voted for Messi.

Thierry Henry mocks Tottenham at FIFA awards

Sports Brief has also reported that Thierry Henry roasted Tottenham Hotspur fans at the FIFA Best Awards ceremony.

The Arsenal icon received Messi's award on his behalf before turning to his fellow co-host Reshmin Chowdhury, a Spurs fan, and telling her,

"Unfortunately, the winner is not here, so I will take it. You are a Tottenham fan, right? You can touch it, too. You usually don't get your hands on a trophy."
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Fred Kennedy
Fred Kennedy has a Bachelor's degree in journalism (Daystar University), currently working as a Sports Editor. He has more than five years of experience in digital journalism.