For the first time in 11 years, Argentina Captain, Lionel Messi is not among the three players shortlisted by FIFA for the Best Football Awards. Rather, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohammed Salah and winner of the UEFA Awards, Luka Modric have been listed as the final contestants for the awards, which is presented to the best footballer of the last season.
The finalists for this year’s world football’s premium awards event also include Brazil’s Marta, Zinédine Zidane, Asako Takakura and Hugo Lloris, amongst the nominees.
The federation revealed that the winner of the Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award will be chosen by a specialist panel, while the winners of The Best FIFA Men’s Player, Women’s Player, Men’s Coach and Women’s Coach awards will be determined by 25 per cent votes from national team coaches, national team captains, select media representatives, including The Guardian’s Christian Okpara, and 25 per cent online vote.
In a ceremony in London witnessed by such FIFA legends as Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu, Sol Campbell, Kelly Smith, and Peter Schmeichel, the nominees were recognised for their achievements in elite football between July 2017 and July 2018 – a period that saw the 2018 FIFA World Cup take place in Russia.
“In a year that was filled with drama, action and excitement across both the men’s and women’s game, The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018 look set to build on the success of 2017’s event and return to London bigger and better than ever.
“The winners will be crowned at the Royal Festival Hall (Southbank) on September 24 2018, where the great and good of world football will descend upon the city to celebrate the very “best” the sport has to offer,” a statement by FIFA read.