The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award 2019: Ranking the nominees from the three-man shortlist
FIFA have released their three-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award today, just a few days after UEFA named their Player of the Year in Monaco.
A ten-man shortlist was initially announced earlier last month and included award regulars, Messi and Cristiano, who were joined by Eden Hazard, Harry Kane, Sadio Mane, Kylian Mbappe, Mohamed Salah, Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Virgil van Dijk.
The award recognises a player's achievements during the period from 16 July 2018 to 19 July 2019 and the winner is voted for by media representatives, national team coaches, national team captains and fans, with each group getting 25% of the overall vote.
The three finalists for were announced in an event at the San Siro stadium in Milan today, with all award winners set to be revealed at The Best FIFA Football Awards show in the city on September 23.
In this article, we attempt to rank the three finalists for the award based on their performances in the previous season:
#3 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)
Cristiano Ronaldo, who remains a perennial contender for all individual prizes, has found himself in unfamiliar territory as he is widely pegged to lose the race for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award this year.
The 34-year-old forward was named Serie A's Player of the Year as he aided Juventus to a predictable league title by scoring 21 goals and providing 10 assists for the side. He may have tallied an impressive 28 goals in all competitions for the Turin giants, but his debut season in the Italian top-flight is largely seen as dull in comparison to his previous campaigns.
The Portuguese talisman has helped the Old Lady to a domestic double with a Supercoppa Italiana win, but has failed to deliver on the stage he was primarily brought to the club to shine on: the UEFA Champions League.
The European trophy has eluded the Bianconeri for decades but the arrival of the 'Champions League man' was expected to put an end to the drought.
Ronaldo was, however, unable to inspire Juventus beyond the quarter-finals of the European competition as the side fell to a shock defeat to Dutch titans, Ajax.
The Juventus superstar's only redemption may come in the form of Portugal's UEFA Nations League win, as his national team would have never made it to the finals if it wasn't for his decisive hat-trick in the semi-finals.
Ronaldo's season may have been far from torrid but it falls agonisingly short in a race where his fellow contenders have hit insane numbers in the course of the year.