Messi, Ronaldo, Griezmann on Fifa shortlist

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann completed the final shortlist for the inaugural Best FIFA Men’s Player Award.

The three stars of La Liga edged out various other players from the Spanish top flight, like Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale and Neymar, as well as the likes Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski and former Paris St Germain frontman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, now at Manchester United.

The original 23-man shortlist was cut down to the three players who received the most votes from the captains and coaches of national teams, a poll on the Fifa website and members of the media.

N'Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez were the only Africans in the 23-man squad, after winning the Premier League title with Leicester City, but failed to make the final cut.

Messi scored 41 goals in all competitions last year as Barcelona won another league and cup double, while also captaining Argentina to the final of the Copa America Centenario.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, had a memorable season for both club and country, playing a pivotal role in Real winning the Champions League, before leading Portugal to their first ever European crown when they beat France in the final of Euro 2016.

France international Griezmann, perhaps the odd one out on the list, scored 32 goals in all competitions as Atletico lost in the final of the Champions League, before suffering another heartache with the national team.

The winner of the award will be announced at the annual Fifa gala in Zurich on 9 January.

Comments