Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain), who led Argentina to victory at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, challenges the FIFA World Player of the Year award.
On the 12th (hereafter local time), FIFA confirmed and announced the nominees for each category of the ‘2022 The Best FIFA Football Awards’.
The award categories include the best player, goalkeeper, and manager awards for men and women, which were shortlisted by a panel of experts, as well as the Pushkasi Award and the Best Fan Award given to the player who scored the most spectacular goal.
A total of 14 names were nominated for the Best Male and Female Athlete Awards.
The biggest concern is, of course, whether or not Messi will win the award. Messi, who scored 7 goals and 3 assists in the last World Cup, had the best moment by giving Argentina their first championship in 36 years and even winning the Golden Ball.
If Messi is selected as Player of the Year, it is the seventh award in his personal career. Messi, who already has the record for the most awards by winning six, will widen the gap with Cristiano Ronaldo (Al-Nasr), who has won the award five times.
Of course, his competitors are also formidable.
Although he finished runner-up at the Qatar World Cup, France’s Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), who scored 8 goals in the tournament, is also one of them. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), who led Real Madrid to the championship and won the Ballon d’Or by reaching the top scorer in the Spanish Primera Liga and the UEFA Champions League in the 2021-2022 season, was also nominated.
In addition, Poland’s scoring machine Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona), who was voted FIFA’s Player of the Year for the past two years in a row, Argentina’s Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), England’s Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Belgium’s Kevin Debrawiner and Norway Elling Hollan (Manchester City) of the United States and Muhammad Salah (Liverpool) of Egypt were named.
However, South Korean national team captain Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), who was joint top scorer in the English Premier League last season with 23 goals along with Salah, was not nominated.
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (Al-Nasr), who canceled his contract after a conflict with Manchester United (England) and failed to show an outstanding performance at the Qatar World Cup, was also not among the 14 players.
Ronaldo, who was selected as FIFA’s Player of the Year in 2017 consecutively following 2016 when the awards began to be awarded separately from the Ballon d’Or, failed to make it to the three finalists for the first time last year, but it is the first time that he has not even been nominated by an expert panel.
FIFA, which established the Player of the Year award in 1991, has been merging with Ballon d’Or since 2010, which is selected by France Football, a French soccer magazine, and awarded under the name of ‘FIFA Ballon d’Or’. .
Winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held in Paris, France on February 27th.
The winner is determined by reflecting the results of the FIFA member team coaches, captains, media, and fan votes. Voting will be held until the 3rd of next month on FIFA’s content platform, FIFA+. Based on this, FIFA plans to announce the final candidates for each category at the beginning of next month.