Inzaghi and Spalletti nominated for The Best FIFA Awards 2023: Who are the Italians up against?

Two of the five coaches nominated for the FIFA Best awards in 2023 are Italian and were both in Serie A last season, but who is up against Simone Inzaghi and Luciano Spalletti for the award?

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Italian coaches are once again at the forefront of the global game, as world governing body FIFA announced that Simone Inzaghi of Inter and new Italy Men’s National Team coach Luciano Spalletti are among the candidates for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award for 2023.

Also on the coaching shortlist are two Spaniards, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola contesting the trophy with former protegee and Barcelona coach Xavi. The list of coaching nominees is completed by Ange Postecoglou, who left Celtic for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

Fans can cast their votes for The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023 until midnight CET on October 6 2023, but should only consider the contributions of the candidates between December 19, 2022 and August 20, 2023.

Why should Luciano Spalletti win The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award for 2023?

Luciano Spalletti takes training with the Italy Men’s National Team. (@Azzurri_en)

Former Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti not only delivered a first Serie A title in 33 years for the Partenopi and realised a lifelong dream by lifting the first Scudetto of his career, but he did so in stunning fashion. The Azzurri played some of the most entertaining and attacking football on the peninsula over the 2022/23 campaign, and also reached the Champions League quarter-finals.

Last season started with some of the Neapolitan fanbase questioning whether Napoli would even qualify for Europe, after several high-profile playing departures, but the 64-year-old used all of his experience and tactical acumen to craft a side that never looked like taking their foot off the accelerator and won Serie A at a canter.

Why should Simone Inzaghi win The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award for 2023?

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi during the Champions League final. [@Inter]

With the Partenopei racing away with the 2022/23 Serie A crown, Inter coach Simone Inzaghi had to satisfy himself with taking the Nerazzurri to victory in the only other domestic trophies on offer, as his side retained the Coppa Italia with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome and won the Supercoppa Italiana against AC Milan.

However, amid a season of criticism for their lacklustre title challenge, the 47-year-old steered them to an unlikely Champions League final appearance. The Nerazzurri edged eventual La Liga champions Barcelona out in the group stage, overcame Portuguese duo Porto and Benfica ahead of a Derby della Madonnina semi-final victory over AC Milan, and lost narrowly to Manchester City in the continental showpiece.

Who is the biggest threat to an Italian winner of The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award for 2023?

Ange Postecoglou might have won a domestic treble with Glasgow giants Celtic, but that was the eighth time in the club’s history and the value of his success over-stated because of his limited experience in European football. Whereas Xavi taking a Lionel Messi-deprived, financially unstable, Barcelona to the title ahead of bitter rivals Real Madrid was certainly a bigger achievement than the Australian’s.

However, the biggest threat comes from Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, who clinched a historic European treble for the club, after chasing down Arsenal to win the Premier League, defeating local rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup and overcoming Inter in Istanbul.

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