Lionel Messi wins 'The Best FIFA' men's player of year award, beating out Mbappe, Haaland

Inter Miami and Argentina star Lionel Messi is the best men’s soccer player in the world for the second straight year.

Messi earned the honor of Men’s Player of the Year award during The Best FIFA Football Awards show in London on Monday, adding to his accolades after a crazy run at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Messi beat out his former Paris Saint Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe and Manchester City standout Erling Haaland for the award.

The trio was also considered for the Ballon d’Or, which Messi won for the eighth time in October.

Messi was not in London for the ceremony, remaining with Inter Miami to prepare for the club’s worldwide preseason tour, which begins in El Salvador on Friday.

Lionel Messi will enter his first full year with Inter Miami during the 2024 MLS season.
Lionel Messi will enter his first full year with Inter Miami during the 2024 MLS season.

Messi won the award for the third time (2019, 2022 and 2023) since its 2016 inception. Cristiano Ronaldo won in 2016 and 2017, Luka Modric won in 2018 and Robert Lewandowski won in 2020 and 2021.

FIFA’s criteria for the award spanned from Dec. 19, 2022 to Aug. 20, 2023.

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Although the World Cup was won on Dec. 18, Messi’s lasting impression since winning the elusive championship likely influenced voters.

Messi helped Argentina win the World Cup for the first time since 1986 and achieved redemption after losing to Germany in the 2014 final.

Messi won the Golden Ball – given to the best player at the World Cup – becoming the only player to win the award twice in tournament history. He scored seven goals, one shy of Mbappe, the Golden Boot winner.

During the final, Messi scored two goals plus another in the penalty round to help Argentina beat France 3-3 (4-2 in penalty kicks), despite a hat trick from Mbappe that forced extra time.

Messi also became the first player in World Cup history to score in the group stage, the Round of 16, quarterfinal, semifinal and the final at a single tournament.

After Messi’s World Cup run, Messi had 21 goals and 20 assists for PSG, while scoring 11 goals in 14 games and helping Inter Miami win the Leagues Cup title last summer.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lionel Messi FIFA best men's player of year award over Mbappe, Haaland