Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe Lead Fifa Player of the Year Nominations

Perennial candidates Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and French World Cup winners Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane were included on a 10-man shortlist for the FIFA best player award on Tuesday.

Joining the star names is Luka Modric after his role in powering unfancied Croatia to the World Cup final in Russia.

Belgium duo Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne were also shortlisted along with England striker Harry Kane, in addition to Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah.

Conspicuously missing on the list is Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar, whose country lost 2-1 to Belgium in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

France World Cup winning coach Didier Deschamps and compatriot Zinedine Zidane, who led Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title, headlined the 11 candidates in the running for men’s coach of the year.

Deschamps became just the third man to lift the World Cup trophy as both a player and a coach, joining an exclusive club featuring Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer.

Zlatko Dalic was recognised after Croatia’s impressive run to the final, while Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez were also among the nominees, having respectively led England and Belgium to the last four.

This is the third edition of the Best FIFA awards following the end of a six-year merger between the FIFA gong and France Football’s Ballon d’Or in 2016.

While Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the prize over the past decade, there’s a big chance that may come to an end after the strong showing from the French contingent during the World Cup.

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