Kylian Mbappe Outshines Vinicius and Messi, Clinches Best Player Award
- Kylian Mbappe has been named the best player in the world by ESPN
- The French star pipped Vinicius Junior and Lionel Messi to the prize
- High-profile members of ESPN over the world decided on the winner.
Paris Saint-Germain and France forward, Kylian Mbappe, pipped Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior and Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi to become ESPN’s player of the year.
Mbappe saw off competition from his former teammate and the Brazilian to claim the coveted award.
The ESPN award covers the period from the beginning to the end of the 2022/23 football season, including the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which saw Messi end Argentina’s 36-year wait for global glory.
Speculation surrounding Mbappe’s future in Paris did not deter the 24-year-old from providing his best performances on the field of play.
Throughout the past season, stats from Whoscored show the Frenchman was involved in 54 goals in all competitions – including a hat-trick in the World Cup final – a tournament in which he was the top scorer.
Mbappe also won a fifth consecutive Ligue 1 top scorer award alongside helping PSG claim another Ligue 1 title. The forward is also said to be a legitimate shout for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.
ESPN awards voting format
According to ESPN, writers, reporters, editors, and producers, including the network’s behind-the-scenes staff, all participated in the voting process.
Voters were encouraged to take into consideration who the top men’s players are – compared to their 2022/23 seasons – when casting their ballots.
The voters could also use their discretion when deciding how much injuries factored in, and as such, several players made the top 10 despite missing chunks of the season on the sidelines.
Performances in individual competitions including the UEFA Champions League and the World Cup were considered, but these were not an overarching factor in the vote.
However, players whose efforts spanned the largest sample size of games would naturally be ranked higher than those who excelled in the short-format tournament.
ESPN’s top 10 best forwards
10. Neymar Jr., Paris Saint-Germain/Brazil
9. Christopher Nkunku, RB Leipzig/France
8. Lautaro Martinez, Inter Milan/Argentina
7. Rafael Leao, AC Milan/Portugal
6. Marcus Rashford, Manchester United/England
5. Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid/France
4. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool/Egypt
3. Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain/Argentina
2. Vinicius Jr, Real Madrid/Brazil
1. Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain/France
Mbappe holidays amidst transfer saga
In news related to the French star, Sports Brief reported on Mbappe holidaying in Miami, the USA, amid uncertainty over his next destination.
The 24-year-old was seen basking in the Florida sun as he tried his hand at a game of beach Jenga, in the company of two unknown women.
After netting 41 goals for PSG and 13 goals for France last season, Mbappe took a break from football and the talk over his club situation.