FIFA reveal their The Best award nominees, with Man City’s Julian Alvarez the shock choice alongside Jude Bellingham… as Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland lead the Ronaldo-less list
- FIFA have announced their 14 men’s nominees for The Best award
- Lionel Messi is on the list alongside his PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe
- Argentina forward Julian Alvarez is a surprise inclusion on the list
- Jude Bellingham have also made the cut after starring at the World Cup
Lionel Messi heads a 14-man shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s player award after leading Argentina to World Cup glory last month.
The list was announced on Thursday, with voting opening straight away and running through until February 3 before the winner is announced at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony.
Messi is the standout name, having scored seven goals in as many games in Qatar to finally win the World Cup. He was also given the Golden Ball after being deemed the best player at the tournament.
Lionel Messi has been named as a nominee for FIFA’s Best Men’s Player award
Messi’s PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe is also on the 14-man shortlist announced by FIFA
14-MAN SHORTLIST FOR ‘THE BEST’ AWARD
Lionel Messi (PSG)
Kylian Mbappe (PSG
Achraf Hakimi (PSG)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
Erling Haaland (Man City)
Julian Alvarez (Man City)
Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
However, it is not a foregone conclusion that he will win this award, given that it takes into account performances between August 2021 and December 2022.
This 16-month period includes Messi’s first season at PSG, which was an underwhelming one, with the forward netting just six Ligue 1 goals.
Messi’s PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe joins him on the shortlist after finishing the World Cup as the Golden Boot winner with eight goals to his name.
Mbappe has also been in fine form at club level, scoring 28 league goals last term, while already notching 13 this time around.
There are also some surprise names in the mix for the prestigious award, with Julian Alvarez making the cut.
Alvarez started 2022 at River Plate before joining Manchester City last summer. After a quiet start in England, the young striker showed exactly what he is capable of during the World Cup, scoring four goals as he played a significant role in Argentina’s triumph.
Alvarez is only 22, but he is not the youngest player on the list – that honour goes to Jude Bellingham.
The midfielder is the only Englishman of the 14 in the running, and has been rewarded after starring at the World Cup for the Three Lions.
Julian Alvarez is a surprise inclusion given that he spent the first six month of 2022 in his homeland
Jude Bellingham has made the cut after having a breakthrough tournament in Qatar
Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne are both in the running for the prestigious award
The Premier League is heavily represented, with City duo Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne named, plus Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
Real Madrid also have three players in with a chance after winning last season’s Champions League. Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema is joined by Vinicius Jr and Luka Modric on the list.
Messi and Mbappe are not the only PSG players, with Neymar and Achraf Hakimi being recognised as well.
Cristiano Ronaldo has not made the list after a disappointing 2022 for the Portuguese star
Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski and Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane complete the list.
This means that Cristiano Ronaldo misses out following a disappointing 2022 that saw him fall out of favour at Manchester United before having his contract terminated by mutual consent.
He was also dropped by Portugal manager Fernando Santos during the World Cup, and left the tournament in tears when his team were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Morocco.