Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi On FIFA Best Player Shortlist


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Neymar was named alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the three-man shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Player Award, which was announced in London on Friday.

Brazil superstar Neymar, 25, won the Copa del Rey with Barcelona last season before joining Paris Saint-Germain in a blockbuster 222 million euros ($266 million) move that smashed the world transfer record. Ronaldo, 32, is the overwhelming favourite to win the award, having led Real Madrid to the La Liga title and a third Champions League success in four years last season.

He won last year’s award after winning the Champions League with Madrid and the European Championship with Portugal. Ronaldo previously won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2008 and is a four-time winner of the Ballon d’Or. Messi, 30, scored 54 goals last season as Barcelona won the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup.

The Argentina great, a record five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, has made a superb start to the current campaign, scoring 12 goals in his first eight appearances in all competitions. Ronaldo won the inaugural Best FIFA Men’s Player Award last year after a six-year merger between the FIFA honour and the Ballon d’Or.

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The shortlist for the Best FIFA Women’s Player award comprises Venezeula’s Deyna Castellanos, Carli Lloyd of the United States and Dutch player Lieke Martens. Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane goes head to head with Chelsea’s Antonio Conte and Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri for the top coach award.

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Veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is shortlisted for the Best FIFA Goalkeeper prize alongside Keylor Navas of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer. The winner of the 2017 awards will be announced during a ceremony at the London Palladium on October 23.

The voting for the award, equally weighted between national team captains, national team coaches, media and fans, closed earlier this month.

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