Lionel Messi has failed to make the FIFA BEST PLAYER AWARD world player of the year shortlist for the first time since 2006, with Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah making their first appearance in the final three alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi and Ronaldo have been the only winners of the main individual award from FIFA since 2008.
The award, created in 2016 following FIFA’s split with the Ballon d’Or, will this year honour the standout player from July 3, 2017 to July 15, 2018 — and in that period,
Modric won the Champions League with Real Madrid, while also helping Croatia reach the World Cup final where his performances earned him the Golden Ball.
Ronaldo, who has won this honour in both years of its existence, is once again among the final three, but faces arguably his toughest challenge yet, following so many impressive performances in Russia.
However, the Juventus forward will still be confident of making it three in a row, as he once again finished top scorer in the Champions League. His 15 goals — five more than anyone else — helped Madrid win the trophy for a third successive season.
And, while he would have expected to make a bigger impact in Russia, he still hit a hat trick against Spain, which included one of the goals of the tournament with a stunning late free kick.
Mohamed Salah’s impact on the world stage may have been minor, but his exploits in the Premier League and Champions League for Liverpool made him a certainty for this list.
He became the first player to score 32 goals in a 38-game season, while also contributing a further 10 in Europe — while he won all the individual awards in England.
France’s World Cup-winning captain, Hugo Lloris, is in contention for the goalkeeper of the year award, alongside Golden Glove winner Thibaut Courtois and Denmark’s Kasper Schmeichel.
Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, France coach Didier Deschamps and Croatia’s Zlatko Dalic were on the shortlist for coach of the year award.
The women’s player of the year award will be contested between Lyon duo Ada Hegerberg and Dzsenifer Marozsan, who enjoyed an unbeaten league season and lifted the Women’s Champions League, and Marta, Brazil’s triumphant Copa America Femenina captain.
The awards ceremony will take place in London on Sept. 24.
The Best FIFA Men’s Player:
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Juventus FC, formerly Real Madrid)
Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool)
The Best FIFA Women’s Player:
Ada Hegerberg (Norway/Lyon)
Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany/ Lyon)
Marta (Brazil/Orlando Pride)
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach:
Zlatko Dalic (Croatia)
Didier Deschamps (France)
Zinedine Zidane (Formerly Real Madrid)
The Best FIFA Women’s Coach:
Reynald Pedros (Lyon)
Asako Takakura (Japan)
Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands)
The Best FIFA Goalkeeper:
Thibaut Courtois (Belgium/Real Madrid, formerly Chelsea)
Hugo Lloris (France/Tottenham Hotspur)
Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark/Leicester City)
FIFA Puskas Award:
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – vs. Liverpool
Denis Cheryshev (Russia) – vs. Croatia
Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (AEK) – vs. Olympiakos
Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro) – vs. America MG
Riley McGree (Newcastle Jets) – vs. Melbourne City
Lionel Messi (Argentina) – vs. Nigeria
Benjamin Pavard (France) – vs. Argentina
Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal) – vs. Iran
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – vs. Juventus
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – vs. Everton
FIFA Fan Award:
Sebastian Carrera (Deportes Puerto Montt, Chile)
Japan and Senegal fans
Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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