Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice received eight votes, finishing 12th in Best FIFA men’s player of the year

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice finished 12th at the Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award last night, with Lionel Messi emerging as the winner.

The Argentine pipped Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to the top prize, while Kevin De Bruyne, Victor Osimhen and Rodri made the top-six.

Julian Alvarez, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Marcelo Brozovic and Rice finished 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively.

The award’s eligibility period for the 2023 edition was between December 19, 2022, and August 20, 2023, and the winners were selected by fans, a panel of journalists, national team captains and coaches.

Rice only joined Arsenal in July 2023, but his heroics at West Ham United last term as he helped them win the 2023 Europa Conference League played a key role in inspiring nine people to vote for him.

Unfortunately, the scoring points from those nine votes only equalled one point.

211 national associations were represented equally in the voting, and a first-place vote is worth five points, followed by three and one for second and third, respectively in the ‘captains’ points’ model.

Rice received a first-place vote from Montserrat national team captain Lyle Taylor, with the Cambridge United striker picking Messi and Haaland as 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Taylor was born in Greenwich, a south-east London area a few miles south of the London Stadium, and it is believed that there could be a hint of bias in his voting as a result of West Ham winning their first-ever European silverware.

The Arsenal star got his other seven votes from coaches and journalists, receiving third-place votes from Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) manager Gary John White and his Mongolia counterpart Ichiro Otsuka.

Rice also received third-place votes from Lackner Gerhard (of ORF-Sport), the media representative from Austria, Indra Singh (of Fijian Broadcasting Corporation) from Fiji, Faizool Deo (of Turks and Caicos Weekly News) from Turks and Caicos Islands and Romulo Martinez Chenlo (of Futbol Florida) from Uruguay, while Namgay Zam from Bhutan voted for him in second place.

The Arsenal star will be looking to help the North Londoners win the Premier League title and other major trophies this term and going forward, and he could find himself on the stage at The Best FIFA Awards in the future if that happens.

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