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Lionel Messi wins big at Fifa best awards, with Mary Earps and Sarina Wiegman scooping up accolades

Guardiola guided City to the treble last season and Mary Earps and Sarina Wiegman were also winners

Pa Sport Staff
Monday 15 January 2024 21:47 GMT
Pep Guardiola guided City to the treble last season, adding the Champions League crown to their Premier League and FA Cup triumphs (John Walton/PA)
Pep Guardiola guided City to the treble last season, adding the Champions League crown to their Premier League and FA Cup triumphs (John Walton/PA) (PA Wire)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was named best men’s coach at The Best FIFA Awards 2023 in London.

Guardiola guided City to the treble last season, adding the Champions League crown to their Premier League and FA Cup triumphs.

Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi, former Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, now at Tottenham, Luciano Spalletti, who took Napoli to the Serie A title, and Barcelona’s Xavi were also on the shortlist.

Guardiola said: “I want to share this trophy and moment with our owners at Manchester City.

“On behalf of my backroom staff and myself, I want to say thank you so much to our players, that they have done for this club for eight years already together, without exception all of them.

“Thanks so much for this incredible journey because they don’t know what it means every morning to go there and live with them, winning or losing it doesn’t matter – living with them has been incredible.”

England boss Sarina Wiegman was named best women’s coach for the second successive year.

The Dutchwoman took England to the World Cup final in Australia, where they were beaten by Spain, having also won Euro 2022 on home soil.

Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes was also on the shortlist along with Sweden’s Peter Gerhardsson, Jonatan Giraldez (Barcelona) and Tony Gustavsson (Australia).

Seven of Wiegman’s England squad made it into the FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World XI – goalkeeper Mary Earps, defenders Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood, and Keira Walsh, Alessia Russo, Lauren James and Ella Toone.

Barcelona defender Bronze said: “(The women’s game) is in the best place it has ever been.

“We showed that after the World Cup, but really the sky is the limit for women’s football.

“Every year it is bigger and better in England, Spain and all around the world and each tournament gets even better.

“We are stood here representing the World XI, but there are hundreds of thousands of women out there playing football at the highest level making the game what it is today.”

Manchester United goalkeeper Earps was soon called back to the stage to collect the best women’s goalkeeper award for the second year in a row.

“Last year I won the award, but didn’t get in the team of the year – this year I thought it might be the other way around,” she said. “Thank you to all my coaches for England and United. I am just blown away.

“I talk a lot about how it wasn’t the easiest journey here, I took the scenic route, but looking back now, it all makes sense.

“It made me so much more prepared for the challenges I face today, and not to take a day for granted.

“If you are struggling, keep going. It is never too late to be who you are – 2023 showed we can change the world if we speak out against injustice, so let’s keep doing that.”

The best women’s player award went to Spain’s World Cup winner Aitana Bonmati ahead of compatriot Jenni Hermoso and Real Madrid’s 18-year-old Colombia forward Linda Caicedo.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi, now with Major League Soccer side Inter Miami, won the best men’s player award once again.

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland and French forward Kylian Mbappe were also shortlisted.

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