Up for the FIFA Best award are Messi, Mbappe, and Benzema
PARIS: On Monday, Paris Saint-Germain teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe will compete with Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema for the title of The Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2022, just like they did in the World Cup final.
After leading Argentina to victory over Mbappe’s France in that epic encounter in Qatar, Messi appears to be the favorite to win another individual gong at the ceremony in Paris.
Messi has won the Ballon d’Or seven times and the FIFA award, which was established in 2016 after FIFA split from France Football, which organizes the Ballon d’Or, once in 2019.
While Messi has finished second to Robert Lewandowski in the last two years, the 35-year-old’s World Cup victory was the defining moment of 2022.
A jury of men’s national team coaches, captains, and journalists from each nation select the winner, but fans can also cast their votes.
Mbappe became the first player since Geoff Hurst in 1966 to score a hat trick in the World Cup final. He helped France draw 3-3 after extra time, despite Messi scoring twice before they lost in a penalty shootout.
The tournament’s top scorer, Mbappe, who turned 24 shortly after the final, scored eight goals, one more than Messi, who won the Golden Ball for best player.
Despite Messi’s presence at PSG
He was named the league’s top scorer and the player of the year in France. In the year leading up to the World Cup, he was without a doubt PSG’s most crucial player.
However, their success at the World Cup takes precedence over everything else.
Ruud Gullit, himself a former Ballon d’Or winner, acknowledged, “Because Messi won the World Cup, he has the biggest chance of winning, that’s a fact. That’s a fact.”
Gullit, a Dutchman who is a member of the Laureus Academy and has recently nominated Messi and Mbappe for their awards, was speaking.
“However, Mbappe inspires such admiration in me. He and I are on the same level. It was unbelievable for him to assume that responsibility in the final,” he continued.
Putellas up for women’s gong
Benzema’s chances of winning another individual award were diminished when he was injured and missed the World Cup.
After spending five and a half years away from the French squad owing to his role in a blackmail issue involving a sex video involving a former teammate, Benzema won the Ballon d’Or in October of last year. This brought an end to his exile from the French team.
The 35-year-old striker for Real Madrid led his team to Champions League and La Liga championships last season with 44 goals in 46 games.
This season, he has continued to score goals.
He declared, “I am proud of my journey” after winning the Ballon d’Or.
Even though she has been out since July with a knee injury, current Ballon d’Or Alexia Putellas, who won the Best award last year, is up for the women’s prize again.
The other finalists are American star Alex Morgan and England forward Beth Mead.
Lionel Scaloni of Argentina, Carlo Ancelotti of Real Madrid, and Pep Guardiola of Manchester City are all candidates for the men’s coach title.
Sarina Wiegman, England’s Euro 2022 champion, is competing for the women’s coach award alongside Sonia Bompastor of Lyon and Pia Sundhage of Brazil.
The World Cup goal that Brazil’s Richarlison scored against Serbia is one of three candidates for the Ferenc Puskas Award, which honors the best goal.
Dimitri Payet of Marseille and Marcin Oleksy, a Polish amputee player, is also up for the award. The top male and female goalkeepers are also recognised in a separate category.