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World champion Messi leads Men’s FIFA The Best shortlist

Lionel Messi is in line to win the Men’s FIFA Best award for a second time, while Beth Mead, Keira Walsh and Leah Williamson have been nominated for the Women’s Prize.

After winning the World Cup with Argentina at the end of last year, Messi ticked off one of the final things missing from his CV.

In inspiring his country to victory in Qatar, he boosted his claims to be the greatest to have played the game.

It appeared to end the debate over who is the superior of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The latter still has something over Messi, as the Portuguese has won FIFA’s Best award on two occasions to one for the Argentina great.

Messi seems certain to draw level after being named on the 14-man shortlist.

His Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe may have something to say after also featuring on the shortlist, but Messi appears a standout performer.

There is one England international nominated, with Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund rewarded for his efforts for club and country.

There are four nominees from the Premier League: Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez and Kevin De Bruyne (all Manchester City) and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool – albeit Sadio Mane’s form for the Reds before his summer move to Batern Munich earned him a spot.

THE BEST FIFA MEN’S PLAYER:

Julian Alvarez (Argentina / River Plate / Manchester City)

Jude Bellingham (England / Borussia Dortmund)

Karim Benzema (France / Real Madrid)

Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium / Manchester City)

Erling Haaland (Norway / Borussia Dortmund / Manchester City)

Achraf Hakimi (Morocco / Paris Saint-Germain)

Robert Lewandowski (Poland / FC Bayern Munich / Barcelona)

Sadio Mane (Senegal / Liverpool / Bayern Munich)

Kylian Mbappe (France / Paris Saint-Germain)

Lionel Messi (Argentina / Paris Saint-Germain)

Luka Modric (Croatia / Real Madrid)

Neymar (Brazil / Paris Saint-Germain)

Mohamed Salah (Egypt / Liverpool)

Vinícius Junior (Brazil / Real Madrid)

England’s Lionesses brought European Championship glory home last summer, and four of Sarina Wiegman’s team have been included on the shortlist.

Beth Mead, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury, leads the charge alongside Keira Walsh and Leah Williamson.

Barcelona superstar Alexia Putellas offers stiff competition, as does Ada Hegerberg who is back at the top of the sport after recovering from a serious knee injury of her own.

THE BEST FIFA WOMEN’S PLAYER:

Aitana Bonmatí (Spain / Barcelona)

Debinha (Brazil / North Carolina Courage)

Jessie Fleming (Canada / Chelsea)

Ada Hegerberg (Norway / Olympique Lyonnais)

Sam Kerr (Australia / Chelsea)

Beth Mead (England / Arsenal)

Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands / Arsenal)

Alex Morgan (USA / Orlando Pride / San Diego Wave)

Lena Oberdorf (Germany / VfL Wolfsburg)

Alexandra Popp (Germany / VfL Wolfsburg)

Alexia Putellas (Spain / Barcelona)

Wendie Renard (France / Olympique Lyonnais)

Keira Walsh (England / Manchester City / Barcelona)

Leah Williamson (England / Arsenal)

THE BEST FIFA WOMEN’S COACH:

Sonia Bompastor (France / Olympique Lyonnais)

Emma Hayes (England / Chelsea FC Women)

Bev Priestman (England / Canadian National Team)

Pia Sundhage (Sweden / Brazilian National Team)

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (Germany / German National Team)

Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands / English National Team)

THE BEST FIFA MEN’S COACH:

Carlo Ancelotti (Italy / Real Madrid)

Didier Deschamps (France / French National Team)

Pep Guardiola (Spain / Manchester City)

Walid Regragui (Morocco / Wydad AC / Moroccan National Team)

Lionel Scaloni (Argentina / Argentinian National Team)

THE BEST FIFA WOMEN’S GOALKEEPER:

Ann-Katrin Berger (Germany / Chelsea FC Women)

Mary Earps (England / Manchester United WFC)

Christiane Endler (Chile / Olympique Lyonnais)

Merle Frohms (Germany / Eintracht Frankfurt / VfL Wolfsburg)

Alyssa Naeher (USA / Chicago Red Stars)

Sandra Panos García-Villamil (Spain / Barcelona)

THE BEST FIFA MEN’S GOALKEEPER:

Álisson Becker (Brazil / Liverpool)

Yassine Bounou (Morocco / Sevilla)

Thibaut Courtois (Belgium / Real Madrid)

Ederson (Brazil / Manchester City)

Emiliano Martínez (Argentina / Aston Villa)

THE FIFA PUSKAS AWARD (BEST GOAL):

Mario Balotelli (Italy): Adana Demirspor v. Göztepe Spor Kulübü [Süper Lig] (22 May 2022)

Amandine Henry (France): FC Barcelona v. Olympique Lyonnais [UEFA Women’s Champions League] (21 May 2022)

Theo Hernandez (France): AC Milan v. Atalanta [Serie A] (15 May 2022)

Alou Kuol (Australia): Iraq U23 v. Australia U23 [AFC U23 Asian Cup] (4 June 2022)

Kylian Mbappe (France): Argentina v. France [FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022] (18 December 2022)

Francisco Gonzalez Metilli (Argentina): Club Atlético Central Cordoba v. Club Atlético Rosario Central [Primera División] (1 August 2022)

Marcin Oleksy (Poland): Warta Poznan v. Stal Rzeszów [PZU Amp Futbol Ekstraklasa] (6 November 2022)

Salma Paralluelo (Spain): FC Barcelona v. Villarreal CF [Liga F] (2 April 2022)

Dimitri Payet (France): Olympique de Marseille v. PAOK Thessaloniki [UEFA Europa Conference League] (7 April 2022)

Richarlison (Brazil): Brazil v. Serbia [FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022] (24 November 2022)

Alessia Russo (England): England v. Sweden [UEFA Women’s EURO 2022] (26 July 2022)

THE BEST FIFA FAN AWARD:

Abdullah Al Salmi (Saudi Arabia): Abdullah journeyed by foot from his hometown of Jeddah to Qatar, hiking across the Saudi Arabian desert, to support his national team at the FIFA World Cup.

Argentinian National Team fans (Argentina): Argentina fans travelled to Qatar in impressive numbers to provide incredible support for their team’s ultimately victorious FIFA World Cup campaign, and millions of fans then welcomed their heroes home to Buenos Aires and across the country.

Japanese National Team fans (Japan): Japan fans earned worldwide recognition for their tradition of staying behind to help clean the stadium after World Cup games.

Voting is open now and closes on February 3.

Source: Eurosport

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