A little-known rule helped Lionel Messi defeat Erling Haaland for Fifa Best.

Thanks to a little-known clause, Lionel Messi won his third FIFA Best Men's Player title despite ending level on points with Erling Haaland of Manchester City.

At The Best Fifa Football Awards 2023 ceremony in London, the Argentine was named the 2023 champion, making history as the first player to win the accolade three times.

Since joining the MLS, the forward has had a significant influence. In September, he won Inter Miami's first championship, the Leagues Cup. 

But after scoring an incredible 36 goals in his first Premier League season and leading Pep Guardiola's team to a historic treble, Haaland was seen as the clear favorite.

Following a close voting in which national team leaders, coaches, and journalists pick their top three players, Messi and Haaland ended up equal on 48 points apiece, with Kylian Mbappe placing third on 35. 

The committee had to divide the two front-runners using the obscure article 12 of the rulebook in order to decide the winner.

The player, coach, or goalie who receives the most "five-point" scores from the votes cast by the nominee's own group of voters will win the relevant Award in the event of a tie, according to the article.

As a result, the renowned Argentine got the nod since Messi had more votes from captains of the national teams. 

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