Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Karim Benzema have been shortlisted for the FIFA Best Men’s Player Award.
Messi led Argentina to glory at last year’s World Cup, scoring seven times, including twice in the final, and laying on three assists.
That ended a 36-year wait for a third world title for Argentina, while for many his performances in Qatar cemented Messi as the greatest of all time.
🚨 We have our finalists for #TheBest FIFA Men's Player Award!
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) February 10, 2023
Argentina overcame France on penalties in the showdown at Lusail Stadium on December 18, though it was not for the want of trying from Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick in a thrilling 3-3 draw, and like his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Messi also converted his spot-kick in the shoot-out.
Mbappe won the competition’s Golden Boot award after netting eight goals, while he set up another two.
Between August 8, 2021, and December 18, 2022, the time period on which this year’s FIFA Best awards are based, Mbappe scored 58 goals for PSG, the highest figure of any player across Europe’s top five leagues.
Third on that list is Real Madrid striker Benzema, who won last year’s Ballon d’Or and makes up the final shortlist. He netted 50 times for Los Blancos, helping them win LaLiga and the Champions League, though he suffered an injury on the eve of the World Cup and had to withdraw from France’s squad.
FIFA also confirmed the nominations for the Puskas Award for best goal.
Richarlison’s stunning effort in Brazil’s World Cup opener against Serbia has made the cut, as has an audacious half-volley from Dimitri Payet in Marseille’s Europa Conference League clash with PAOK last April.
Marcin Oleksy, meanwhile, scored a sublime overhead kick for Warta Poznan amputee football against Stal Rzeszow, and the Pole joins Richarlison and Payet on the final shortlist.
The Best Women’s Player Award will also be handed out at the FIFA ceremony on February 27.
Beth Mead was crucial in England’s success at the Women’s Euros last year, winning the Golden Boot and being named as Player of the Tournament.
Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas missed the tournament through injury but the Barcelona star makes the list, along with Alex Morgan.