Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be the favourite to grasp the FIFA Men’s Player award for the second year running after being included in the final shortlist for the 2017 award along with Lionel Messi and Neymar.
The trio had been named in an initial 24-man list of nominees last month and will now battle it out for the prize when it is handed out at the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony on Oct. 23 in London. The award, which covers the period of Nov. 20, 2016, to July 2, 2017, is voted for by national team coaches, captains, selected media and fans.
Real Madrid star Ronaldo won the inaugural award last year and is a favourite to claim the accolade next month after a year that saw him help Madrid to a third Champions League crown in four seasons and a first La Liga title in five years, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Portugal captain scored twice as Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final, while also finishing top scorer in the competition with 12 goals.
Ronaldo faces competition from long-time rival Lionel Messi, who finished as La Liga’s top scorer with 37 goals — 12 ahead of Ronaldo — and helped Barcelona to Copa del Rey success in what was a largely disappointing season for the club.
Neymar, who finished third in the 2015 Ballon d’Or voting, is also in contention. The Brazil forward became the world’s most expensive player this summer when he left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a €222 million deal.
The three finalists for The Best FIFA Goalkeeper, a new award this year, are Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon, Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer.
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is favoured to be named Best FIFA Men’s Coach after being included the final shortlist for the 2017 award along with Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri and Chelsea’s Antonio Conte.
United States midfielder Carli Lloyd will look to retain her title as Best FIFA Women’s Player as she was named alongside Venezuela’s Deyna Castellanos and Netherlands’ Lieke Martens.
The nominees for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach are Denmark’s Nils Nielsen, France’s Gerard Precheur and Netherlands’ Sarina Wiegman.