FIFA BEST Awards: 3-man shortlist for Men's Player of the Year announced
What's the story?
FIFA have announced that Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. are the final 3 to compete for the 2017 FIFA BEST Men's Player of the Year Award, after having announced a 25-man shortlist earlier in the year. In addition, FIFA has introduced the BEST Goalkeeper of the Year award this time around, in recognition of an oft-overlooked position.
In case you didn't know...
Having previously co-opted France Football's Ballon d'Or award as the FIFA award for the last few years, FIFA had launched its own award with the 'BEST' series of awards last year. Cristiano Ronaldo was the first to win the award, beating out Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezman to the trophy. The Portuguese superstar is also favourite to win the award yet again, having led Real Madrid to the UEFA Champions League and La Liga title last season.
The heart of the matter
In a glittering ceremony in the Bloomsbury Ballroom in London, FIFA Legends Roberto Di Matteo, Jay Jay Okocha, Alex Scott, Andriy Shevchenko and Peter Shilton were present to unveil the final 3 nominees for each of FIFA's BEST Awards.
Without further ado, here is the complete list of the nominees, in alphabetical order:
* The Best Men's Player
Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr. and Cristiano Ronaldo
* The Best Women's Player
Deyna Castellanos, Carli Lloyd and Lieke Martens
* The Best Men's Coach
Massimiliano Allegri, Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane
* The Best Women's Coach
Nils Nielsen, Gérard Prêcheur and Sarina Wiegman
* The Best Goalkeeper
Gianluigi Buffon, Keylor Navas and Manuel Neuer
* The FIFA Fan Award
Borussia Dortmund, Celtic FC and FC Kobenhavn
The names of the winners of each award will be announced on October 23rd, in a ceremony that will take place at the London Palladium. Fans can also continue to place their votes on the FIFA website right until the day of the announcement.
Not much of a surprise here as the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi always dominates these awards, but Neymar's presence is a bit surprising. However, given the form of Lionel Messi currently, this award may not be as much of a one-horse race, as it was prior to the 2017/18 season starting, with Cristiano Ronaldo then considered the favourite.