“Lionel Messi Competes for European Player of the Year Alongside Erling Haaland and De Bruyne”
On August 17, the European Football Federation (UEFA) revealed the shortlist of three players who are finalists for the Best Player in Europe award for the 2022-2023 season. The shortlisted players are Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, and Kevin De Bruyne.
The winner of this prestigious award will be announced during the draw for the Champions League group stage for the 2023-2024 season, which will take place on August 31 in Monaco. The panel of judges responsible for selecting the finalists includes coaches from clubs that participated in European competitions last season, as well as coaches from UEFA national teams and journalists from European Sports Media (ESM).
In the 2022-2023 season, Messi’s PSG reached the Champions League round of 16. However, he secured the award for the best goal of the Champions League season with his opening goal against Benfica (resulting in a 1-1 draw) in the group stage match on October 5, 2022. Messi also clinched the Ligue 1 title with PSG in France.
An important factor that boosts Messi’s candidacy is the title he won at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which concluded at the end of 2022 and is considered part of the 2022-2023 season’s achievements, as acknowledged by UEFA. Notably, Messi has moved to Inter Miami in the MLS (USA) since then.
Conversely, Erling Haaland and De Bruyne had a highly successful 2022-2023 season with Manchester City, achieving a treble that encompassed victories in the Champions League, FA Cup, and English Premier League.
The European Footballer of the Year award will be determined by distinguished European journalists and coaches. The three shortlisted players will receive points on a scale of 5, 3, and 1 from the voters. The final result will be based on the aggregated votes of coaches and journalists, with coaches not allowed to vote for players from their own teams.
In addition to the Best Player title with the three finalists, Messi, Erling Haaland, and De Bruyne, the Best Coach in Europe category also featured shortlisted coaches Pep Guardiola (Manchester City), Simone Inzaghi (Inter Milan), and Luciano Spalletti (Napoli). The titles for women’s football will be announced by UEFA after the conclusion of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.