The Best Fifa Football Awards 2018 men’s player nominees top 10: Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah
No place for Neymar on voting shortlist as France and Real Madrid dominate male player nominations after World Cup and Champions League triumphs
Football’s governing body has announced the candidates for its The Best Fifa awards with the men’s player list dominated by stars of the recent World Cup in Russia.
World champions France provide three players: Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane, Kylian Mbappe on the list while Luka Modric, captain of runners-up Croatia, joins them.
Modric took the Golden Ball for best player at the World Cup while Mbappe was named the best young player.
Also on the men’s list are Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard of third-placed Belgium plus captain of fourth-place England and World Cup Golden Boot Harry Kane.
The holder of the award Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah round out the top 10.
Varane is the only defender on the list.
With Varane, Modric and Ronaldo, European champions Real Madrid have three players on the list, although Ronaldo has since departed for Juventus.
Neymar, who finished third last year, is a notable absentee from the 10.
The awards were introduced in 2016 to replace the Fifa Ballon d’Or, which had seen Fifa’s World Player of the Year join with France Football’s Ballon d’Or award in 2010.
A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Jul 20, 2018 at 9:53am PDT
Ronaldo has won The Best Fifa Men’s Player award both times while Messi has finished as runner-up on both occasions.
For the men’s coach, Zinedine Zidane could retain his crown after ensuring Real Madrid held on to the Champions League for the third season in a row.
But it is a list dominated by the recent World Cup with national team managers accounting for half of the list.
France boss Didier Deschamps, Belgium’s Roberto Martinez, England’s Gareth Southgate, Croatia’s Zlatko Dali and Stanislav Cherchesov, who guided Russia to a surprise quarter-final, made the list.
The women’s player award will have a new name on it as neither 2017 winner Lieke Martins or 2016 winner Carli Lloyd have made the cut. Brazil’s Marta is the only player who has been on the podium before that could win.
Seven of the 10, including Japan’s Saki Kumagai, are at European clubs, while Australia’s Sam Kerr, Marta and US midfielder Megan Rapinoe play in the US league. Six of the 10 nominees play for three-in-a-row European champions Olympique Lyonnais.
— #FIFAWWC (@FIFAWWC) 24 July 2018
The French side’s coach Reynald Pedros could stop last year’s winner, Netherlands national team coach Sarina Wiegman, from retaining her title.
Asaka Takakura of Japan is one of six national managers that also includes Australia’s Alen Stajcic in another European-dominated list.
The public vote takes place from now until August 10 and will account for 25 per cent of the award. The captains and head coaches of all national teams account for another 25 per cent each while the final vote comes from a panel of 200 journalists from around the world.
The top three in each category will be announced in early September before the awards in London on September 24.