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Best of 2023 Awards: Best Player, Best Manager, Team of the Year & More

We have almost reached the end of 2023 which means it is time to dish out a few awards.

As always with these things they are purely subjective, so if you are triggered by anything you are about to read here, tough!

Without further ado, here are our Best of 2023 Awards, starting with a player who is on track to become one of the world’s best-ever midfielders.

Best Player – Jude Bellingham

Given he played a key role in Manchester City winning the treble last season, a strong case could be made for Erling Braut Haaland to win this award.

However, after carrying Borussia Dortmund on his back before running riot with Real Madrid, it is impossible to ignore Jude Bellingham’s claims.

The 20-year-old has already made a massive impact with the La Liga giants, bagging 16 goals and five assists in 19 appearances for the club.

Best Manager – Pep Guardiola

This one undoubtedly falls into the no-brainer category, with Guardiola leading Man City to the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble last season.

Critics will argue that City’s alleged financial breaches taint their achievements, but we will work on the theory of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ for now.

Guardiola has had no peers on the managerial front over the past 12 months – whether that will continue into 2024 remains up for debate.

Best Team – Manchester City

Having become just the second club to win the treble of trophies that matter in English football, Man City are unrivalled as the best team in 2023.

Some of their performances under Guardiola have been truly breathtaking, but they also have the uncanny knack of grinding out results when required.

While their dominance inevitably attracts plenty of jealousy, even the most biased rival fans must admit that Man City are an exceptional team.

Best International Team – Argentina

Speaking of exceptional teams, Argentina have been extremely impressive over the last 12 months, apart from one notable slip-up.

The world champions have won nine out of ten matches in the past year, with their only defeat coming against Uruguay in a 2026 World Cup qualifier.

That 2-0 defeat was the only time their defence was breached in 2023 – a record that sets them apart from the rest on the international stage.

Best Goal – Alejandro Garnacho

Alejandro Garnacho’s wonder goal against Everton in November was a rare highlight for Manchester United during a dismal season.

It bore some similarities to Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick in the Manchester derby in 2011 but with one crucial difference – it didn’t come off his shin.

Garnacho’s effort highlighted his undoubted ability. If he adds some consistency to his performances, the world is his oyster.

Team of the Year

Look away now Liverpool fans – none of your favourites have made it into our Team of the Year:

  • GK – Ederson – Manchester City
  • RB – Jeremie Frimpong – Bayer Leverkusen
  • CB – William Saliba – Arsenal
  • CB – Manuel Akanji – Manchester City
  • LB – Federico Dimarco – Inter Milan
  • M – Rodri – Manchester City
  • M – Jude Bellingham – Real Madrid
  • M – Frenkie de Jong – Barcelona
  • F – Bukayo Saka – Arsenal
  • F – Erling Braut Haaland – Manchester City
  • F – Vinicius Junior – Real Madrid

Ederson is an undisputed choice in goal given he helped Man City win the treble, while the same goes for teammates Rodri and Haaland further forward.

Akanji is the final member of City’s squad to make this team and gets in after consistently delivering top-class performances. He is the perfect foil for Saliba in defence.

Frimpong has played a pivotal role in Leverkusen’s charge to the top of the Bundesliga, while Dimarco completes the backline after impressing for Inter.

Bellingham is a guaranteed starter in midfield alongside Rodri and they are complimented by Frenkie de Jong who has been excellent for Barcelona.

Vinicius Junior gets in on the left-hand side of our front three ahead of Kylian Mbappe, while Saka is the preferred choice on the opposite flank.

Best Moment – Ben Foster

Wrexham have garnered plenty of headlines since Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took over the club in 2021.

However, even they could not have scripted Ben Foster’s last-minute penalty save in a crucial National League promotion clash in April.

This was THE best moment in football in 2023, bar none.

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