Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo have once again made the shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award.
The duo are set to renew their rivalry once again over the award that they dominated for almost a decade and a half. The award was renamed from the FIFA Ballon d’Or to The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award in 2016, and since then there have been four different winners.
This year, Messi and Ronaldo are expected to face stiff competition from the likes of Mohamed Salah, Karim Benzema, and Robert Lewandowski.
Lewandowski won the award in 2020 for his record-breaking season at Bayern Munich. The Poland star helped the Bavarians to a treble in 2020, and deservedly won The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award.
Salah and Benzema expected to push Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award
Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi changed clubs over the summer, and have had mixed spells so far at Manchester United and PSG, respectively.
Despite lifting the Copa America with Argentina, Lionel Messi isn’t guaranteed The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award this time due to the presence of several other talented players.
Mohamed Salah and Karim Benzema have been on fire this season. Salah’s 11 goals and seven assists see him top the goal-scoring as well as the assist charts in the Premier League.
Benzema has had similar success as his ten goals and seven assists see him top the scoring and assist charts in La Liga. Salah has also scored five times in the Champions League so far against quality opposition, considering Liverpool were drawn in the group of death.
Lewandowski, too, is in contention as the Polish international continues to score a bucket load of goals in both the Bundesliga (14) and the Champions League (8).
The likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland are also on the shortlist, but it’s unlikely they will win it unless they finish the year strongly.
Chelsea duo Jorginho and N’Golo Kante have had good years too, as their stats go beyond just goals scored. Jorginho played an important role in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph and then helped Italy win Euro 2020.
List of players shortlisted for The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award: Mohamed Salah, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema, Kevin De Bruyne, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar
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The winner is to be announced on January 17.