Fresh from their brilliant performances at the World Cup, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe are among the nominees for FIFA’s Best award for last year, the world football’s governing body has announced.
Messi, who has won the prize once before captained Argentina to victory in Qatar, a career-defining triumph that has boosted his chances of winning an eighth Ballon d’Or and may also make him a favourite for this prize.
As well as Mbappe who netted a hat-trick in the World Cup final, another two Paris Saint-Germain players are nominated – Neymar and Achraf Hakimi.
Portugal’s super star Cristiano Ronaldo who has had a turbulent season so far has no space on the list.
Karim Benzema who won last year’s Ballon d’Or for his performances with Real Madrid was nominated as is Robert Lewandowski, winner of the FIFA prize in the last two years.
Alexia Putellas was nominated for the women’s award despite being out for the last six months due to injury.The Barcelona and Spain midfielder won the award last year and retained the Ballon d’Or in October.
Arsenal striker Beth Mead, runner-up to Putellas for the Ballon d’Or was also nominated as are two other members of the England team that won the European Championship on home soil – Leah Williamson and Keira Walsh.
There are also prizes for the best male and female coach, the best goalkeeper, and the Puskas Award for the best goal of 2022. LEADERSHIP