‘The Best’: Who Are the Latin American Candidates to Win the Awards?

The world champions with Argentina are the protagonists for the seventh edition of "The Best" .

Lionel Messi, Emiliano Martinez and Lionel Scaloni.

Photos: Wikimedia

LatinAmerican Post | Carlos Felipe Bedoya

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Leer en español: ‘The Best’: ¿Quiénes son los latinoamericanos candidatos a llevarse los premios?

The seventh edition of "The Best" awards will take place next Monday, February 27, 2023. The award ceremony will be in Zurich, Switzerland, at the FIFA headquarters. It is important to remember that these awards have nothing to do with the Ballon d'Or award organized by France Football magazine. To choose the winners in the different categories, the period of time between August 8, 2021, and December 18, 2022, the date on which the world final was played in Qatar, will be taken into account.

In addition, the contest has a unique voting system to select the winners that is divided into four parts. In the first part, will take into account the votes of the public worldwide, the second part will take into account the votes of specialized journalists and for the third and fourth, respectively, the coaches and captains of all the world teams currently registered with FIFA will be heard.

You can also read: Is The 2023 Ballon d'Or Already Defined In Favor Of Lionel Messi?

Eight different prizes will be awarded, however, the most notorious are the Puskás for best goal, the best player, the best goalkeeper (woman and man) and the best coach, because Latin American players stand out. In particular, the Argentines who during the World Cup achieved glory in the highest competition of this sport stand out.

Best Player

Argentine Lionel Messi, who currently plays for Paris Saint Germain, is the first and great candidate for the award, as his performance in the World Cup was outstanding. The Frenchman Kylian Mbappé, Messi's partner in Paris, also sounds, who is positioned as a key player for being the top scorer in the World Cup in Qatar with eight goals. The last, but not least, is the Frenchman Karim Benzema, who despite not having played in the World Cup, had a great season with Real Madrid, where he was crowned champion of the UEFA Champions League.

Best Goalkeeper

The world champion goalkeeper Emiliano 'Dibu' Martinez, Aston Villa player, is the one who heads the list thanks to his crucial role with the Argentine team during the soccer World Cup and is projected as a great candidate. In turn, the Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou , who plays for Sevilla and whose performance with his team was notable during Qatar 2022, is disputing the award. Finally, there is the Belgian Thibaut Courtois, who was also crowned champion of the European Champions League with the merengue club.

Best Female Goalkeeper 

The 31-year-old Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler, who plays for Olympique de Lyon, current champion of the Champions League, is disputing the award. Other candidates are the Spanish goalkeeper Sandra Paños from Barcelona and the champion of the last European Championship with the England team, Mary Earps, which is part of the Manchester United squad.

Best Men's Soccer Coach

It is no secret to anyone that Lionel Scaloni should have been a finalist for this award. He was crowned champion of the Copa América 2021 and his process with the Argentine National Team allowed him to also be crowned world champion last December. With good play and tactical order, he managed to bring joy to the Argentine people and the world. The Spanish Pep Guardiola, in command of Manchester City, will seek to obtain this recognition, the same as the Italian Carlo Ancelotti, with a great presence at Real Madrid.

Puskás Award

The Puskás award this year has a special meaning. In the Polish amputee league, in the match between Warta Poznań vs. Stal Rzeszów, happened a fascinating goal, with an astonishing twist in the air from Pole Marcin Oleksy. With this, FIFA seeks to be inclusive, taking into account all soccer leagues regardless of their conditions, and it is a step forward for soccer. It serves as an example for the new generations and for all those who have some special condition to not put aside their dreams and move forward through sport.

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