Sarina Wiegman and Pep Guardiola take best coach prizes at FIFA awards

By Sports Desk January 15, 2024

England boss Sarina Wiegman was named best women’s coach for the second successive year and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola took the men’s prize at The Best FIFA Awards 2023 in London on Monday night.

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

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.

As well as picking up the award last year, Wiegman has also taken the honour in 2017 and 2020, when she was in charge of the Netherlands.

Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes finished second in the vote, ahead of Barcelona’s Jonatan Giraldez.

“I feel very privileged and humbled to be here again,” Wiegman said. “I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in our performances with England.

“Most of all thanks to the players who have performed so well on the back of the Euros and the World Cup – lots of things were thrown in front of us and we did really well.”

Manchester United goalkeeper Earps also collected the best women’s goalkeeper award for the second year in a row.

Earps finished her acceptance speech with words of encouragement for others.

“If you are struggling, keep going,” she said. “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.

Guardiola took the best men’s coach award ahead of Luciano Spalletti, who guided Napoli to the Serie A title, and Simone Inzaghi, whose Inter Milan side Manchester City beat in the Champions League final to complete the treble.

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

“On behalf of my backroom staff and myself, I want to say thank you so much to our players.

“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.”

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

He edged out Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, with France forward Kylian Mbappe also in the running.

Six Manchester City players made it into the men’s World XI – defenders John Stones, Kyle Walker and Ruben Dias along with midfielders Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne and Haaland.

England and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham was also included in the best men’s team, while City’s Brazil international Ederson took the men’s best goalkeeper award.

:: The winners of The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023:

The Best FIFA Women’s Player: Aitana Bonmati (Spain/Barcelona)
The Best FIFA Men’s Player: Lionel Messi (Argentina/Inter Miami)
The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper: Mary Earps (England/Manchester United)
The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper: Ederson (Brazil/Manchester City)
The Best FIFA Women’s Coach: Sarina Wiegman (England women’s national team)
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach: Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
The FIFA Puskas Award: Guilherme Madruga (Botafogo)
The FIFA Fair Play Award: Brazil men’s national team (anti-racism)
The FIFA Fan Award: Hugo Daniel ‘Toto’ Iniguez & son (Colon de Santa Fe)

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