Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe are among the candidates for FIFA’s The Best Player award for the previous year, the international football’s governing body said on Thursday, following their outstanding World Cup performances.
Messi, who has already won the award, led Argentina to victory in Qatar, a victory that defined his career and increased his prospects of earning an eighth Ballon d’Or while possibly making him the favorite to win this award.
Mbappe, who scored three goals in the World Cup final, is one of three Paris Saint-Germain players nominated, along with Neymar and Achraf Hakimi.
Both Robert Lewandowski, who won the FIFA award in the previous two years, and Karim Benzema, who took home the Ballon d’Or last year for his exploits with Real Madrid, are up for nomination.
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 list of nominees.
Despite missing the past six months of play due to injuries, Alexia Putellas is a nominee for the women’s best player title.
The midfielder for Barcelona and Spain earned the prize the previous year and kept it in October.
There are also prizes for the best male and female coach, the best goalkeeper, and the Puskas Award for the best goal of 2022.
A public vote, open until February 3, will decide the three finalists in each category.
The winner is then voted for by a jury made up of national team coaches and captains as well as journalists and fans.
Best FIFA Men’s Player Nominees
Below is the list of the nominees:
Kevin De Bruyne