Messi and Mbappe among nominees for FIFA Best award
World football’s governing body, FIFA, announced the nominees for its The Best award for 2018 on Thursday, and World Cup MVP Lionel Messi and rising star Kylian Mbappe are among them.
Messi, a previous winner of the award, captained Argentina to victory in Qatar, a career-defining victory that has increased his chances of winning an eighth Ballon d’Or but may also make him a favorite for this prize.
Besides Mbappe, who scored a hat trick in the World Cup final, two other Paris Saint-Germain players, Neymar and Achraf Hakimi, are up for nomination.
Former Real Madrid teammate Robert Lewandowski, who has won the FIFA award the past two years, is nominated, as is Karim Benzema, who won the Ballon d’Or last year for his performances.
Julian Alvarez, Kevin De Bruyne, and Erling Haaland of Manchester City; Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid; Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Jude Bellingham round out the nominees.
In spite of missing the past six months of competition due to injury, Alexia Putellas has been nominated for the women’s award.
The midfielder for Barcelona and Spain won the award last year, and he’s still wearing the Ballon d’Or as of October.
England’s Leah Williamson and Keira Walsh, as well as Arsenal striker Beth Mead, who finished second to Putellas for the Ballon d’Or, are also up for the award.
In addition to the Puskas Award for the best goal of 2022, there are also prizes for the best male and female coaches.
Voting for the top three finalists in each category is open to the public through February 3.
After that, a panel of judges consisting of national team coaches, captains, media members, and fans decides who should win.