Aitana Bonmati and Lionel Messi were both selected as finalists for the FIFA best player of the year awards on Thursday by the regulating body of international football.
October in Paris saw the awarding of Messi a record-setting eighth Ballon d’Or, while Bonmati won the women’s accolade after leading Spain to victory at the Women’s World Cup.
The FIFA men’s best player award also includes Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, while the women’s shortlist includes Bonmati’s Spain colleague Jenni Hermoso and Colombian teenage sensation Linda Caicedo.
Jan. 15 will mark the location of the awards ceremony in London.
The men’s finalists were determined by their performances from December 19, 2022, to August 20, 2023, whereas the women’s finalists were chosen by their accomplishments from August 1, 2022, to August 20, 2023, which coincided with the World Cup final day.
After assisting Argentina to victory at the World Cup, Messi earned his second FIFA Best Player trophy the year before.
Haaland, who placed second in the Ballon d’Or voting behind Lionel Messi, contributed to Manchester City’s trifecta of Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League championships with 52 goals in his debut season.
Mbappe’s 41 goals across all competitions assisted Paris Saint-Germain in winning Ligue 1.
Both Bonmati and Hermoso contributed to Spain’s inaugural Women’s World Cup victory with three goals each. Additionally, Bonmati secured the Women’s Champions League title with Barcelona in the previous season.
It sparked a massive controversy and ultimately resulted in the resignation of the then-president of the Spanish football federation, Luis Rubiales, who forcibly greeted Hermoso after Spain defeated England 1-0 in the championship match.
Caicedo, 18, played a key role in Colombia’s progress to the World Cup quarterfinals and has since joined Real Madrid.