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THE BEST FIFA FOOTBALL AWARDS

Is Alex Morgan the favorite to win the 2023 The Best FIFA Football Award? Odds and predictions

Alex Morgan, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé are among the stars hoping to be rewarded by FIFA for their individual performances.

Update:
Alex Morgan, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé are among the stars hoping to be rewarded by FIFA for their individual performances.
RUBEN SPRICHREUTERS

First introduced in 2017 with the aim of reviving the FIFA World Player Gala, which soccer’s governing body created as competition for the Ballon d’Or after the 1990 World Cup but discontinued in 2009, the Best FIFA Football Awards will hold its seventh edition in 2023, specifically later this Monday in Paris. USWNT star Alex Morgan is up for the Best Female Player Award, while PSG teammates Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi will fight it out with current Ballon d’Or holder Karim Benzema for the Best Men’s Player Award.

The Best FIFA Football Award predictions

Who will come out in top in each category? Well, we don’t have long to wait to find out. Unlike for the Ballon d’Or (on the men’s side for now, at least), bookmakers across the board are generally not offering any odds on who is likely to win, so here are our predictions on who will come out on top in the different categories.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player

For accomplishments between 8 August 2021 and 18 December 2022.

  • Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France)
  • Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain/France)
  • Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain/Argentina)

As it stands, Messi is the runaway favourite to win the Ballon d’Or in 2023, which suggests there is a pretty good chance he’ll win this one too. Most bookmakers offer incredibly short odds of around -500 for him to win France Football’s prize come the end of the year, with Mbappé at +750 and Benzema a distant +1800, behind Erling Haaland (also around +750). Who are we to argue with a World Cup victory for his country for the first time in 36 years, a World Cup Golden Ball, bookmakers and several media outlets who have ‘leaked’ that Messi will win the award.

Predicted winner: Lionel Messi (PSG/Argentina)

Lionel Messi scored his 700th club goal on for PSG against Marseille on Sunday.
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Lionel Messi scored his 700th club goal on for PSG against Marseille on Sunday. FEPGetty

The Best FIFA Women’s Player

For accomplishments between 7 August 2021 and 31 July 2022.

  • Beth Mead (Arsenal/England)
  • Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/San Diego Wave/USWNT)
  • Alexia Putellas (Barcelona/Spain)

Morgan excelled as the USWNT again won the CONCACAF W Championship and Mead did similarly as England lifted the European Championship trophy for the first time in their history on home soil. Yet Putellas has been touted by most to win the award for the second year running. She unfortunately suffered an ACL tear at the start of July 2022, just before the end of the period in consideration for the award, and missed the Euros as a result, but her achievements up until then – total domestic dominance with Barcelona, a narrow miss in the Champions League, lots of goals from midfield – mean she is the most likely winner.

Predicted winner: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona/Spain)

The Best FIFA Men’s Coach

  • Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid)
  • Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
  • Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)

This has to be Scaloni’s, doesn’t it? Guardiola won the Premier League title with City and Ancelotti did the league and Champions League double with Real Madrid. But most of us have seen those things happen before, and relatively recently too. Argentina had gone 36 years without winning the World Cup and to do so in the manner that they did – in a hugely dramatic final in possibly Messi’s last tournament – means Scaloni is likely to get this one.

Predicted winner: Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)

The Best FIFA Women’s Coach

  • Sonia Bompastor (Lyon)
  • Pia Sundhage (Brazil)
  • Sarina Wiegman (England)

Wiegman has already won this award twice and will become the first person to complete a FIFA Best hat-trick if she repeats the trick. And she should, for similar reasons to Scaloni. Bompastor was in charge as Lyon won their eighth Champions League since 2011 and Sundhage led Brazil to victory in the Copa América, a competition they’ve only ever failed to win once. England had been knocking on the door in major international tournaments for a while but had been unable to get across the finishing line until Wiegman came along in time for the 2022 Euros.

Predicted winner: Sarina Wiegman (England)

Barcelona and Spain's Alexia Putellas won The Best Female Player Award last year.
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Barcelona and Spain's Alexia Putellas won The Best Female Player Award last year. INMA FLORESDiarioAS

The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper

  • Yassine Bounou (Sevilla/Morocco)
  • Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid/Belgium)
  • Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa/Argentina)

Bounou was a reliable performer in goal as Morocco shocked the world by reaching the semi-finals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup but the award will almost certainly go to one of the other two. Courtois made a record number of Champions League final saves as Real Madrid edged out Liverpool in Paris but, once again, the Argentina factor should sway this in favour of the eccentric Martínez, whether you like him or not.

Predicted winner: Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa/Argentina)

The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper

  • Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea/Germany)
  • Mary Earps (Manchester United/England)
  • Christiane Endler (Lyon/Chile)

We’re going to contradict our previous logic with this one. Earps was England’s starting goalkeeper as her nation finally won silverware in summer 2022 but Lyon goalkeeper Endler has cemented herself as one of the world’s top shot-stoppers in recent years and her consistency and longevity should see her win the award for the second successive year.

Predicted winner: Christiane Endler (Lyon/Chile)

In December, Lionel Scaloni led Argentina to World Cup glory for the first time in 36 years .
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In December, Lionel Scaloni led Argentina to World Cup glory for the first time in 36 years .Julian FinneyGetty Images

The FIFA Puskás Award

Any ‘best goal’ award is obviously completely subjective and three different people could give you three different answers. We’re going with amputee player Oleksy’s incredible scissor kick.

Predicted winner: Marcin Oleksy (Poland)

The Best FIFA Fan Award

  • Abdullah Al Salmi (Saudi Arabia): Abdullah journeyed by foot from his hometown of Jeddah to Qatar, hiking across the Saudi Arabian desert, to support his national team at the FIFA World Cup.
  • Argentinian National Team fans (Argentina): Argentina fans travelled to Qatar in impressive numbers to provide incredible support for their team’s ultimately victorious FIFA World Cup campaign, and millions of fans then welcomed their heroes home to Buenos Aires and across the country.
  • Japanese National Team fans (Japan): Japan fans earned worldwide recognition for their tradition of staying behind to help clean the stadium after World Cup games.

The Qatar 2022 World Cup will be synonymous with Argentina fans outnumbering the opposition in every match, which means there’s a good chance they’ll win (2022 was their year, after all). But as Google ‘could not calculate walking directions from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Doha, Qatar’, we’re going with Al Salmi.

Predicted winner: Abdullah Al Salmi (Saudi Arabia fan)

Check back with us in later on Monday after the awards ceremony to see how many of them we got right!