Brazilian forward Neymar is a surprise omission from the FIFA’s Best Men’s Player award shortlist. There’s also a complete lack of Germans in the men’s list, but Dzsenifer Marozsan is in contention for the women’s gong.Brazil’s early exit from the World Cup and a somewhat injury-hit debut season at Paris Saint-Germain, where he nevertheless racked up 28 goals and 16 assists in 30 games, are likely to have contributed to Neymar’s absence.
The rest of the list is largely familiar, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who won the first two editions of the award in 2016 and 2017, among the 10 names.
Croatia skipper Luka Modric and French tyro Kylian Mbappe, who both picked up individual awards at the World Cup, will be hoping to break the La Liga duopoly on major global indvidiual awards. As well as the FIFA Best Player, Messi and Ronaldo have shared the more prestigious Balon d’Or since 2008, winning five apiece .
The rest of the 10-man shortlist is made up of two more French World Cup winners (Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane), Belgian duo Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne, Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah and English striker Harry Kane.
France coach Didier Deschamps and compatriot Zinedine Zidane, who led Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title, headlined the 11 candidates in the running for men’s coach of the year.
Maroszan and Klopp the German representatives
Zlatko Dalic was recognised after Croatia’s shock run to the final, while Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez were also among the nominees, having respectively led England and Belgium to the last four. German coach Jürgen Klopp also gets the nod for his work with Liverpool.
Germany skipper Dzsenifer Marozsan is one of six Lyon players on the women’s shortlist. The playmaker won the Women’s Champions League and two domestic trophies with the French side, who have won the last three editions of the European trophy.
While highly-decorated Brazilian forward Marta is in the running, along with Megan Rapinoe of the United States and Australian forward Sam Kerr, there will be a new winner of the women’s award after FIFA’s expert panel did not shortlist the past two winners – Carli Lloyd of the U.S. and Lieke Martens of the Netherlands.
Four women and six men are competing to be named the best coach in women’s football. The nominations include Sarina Wiegman, the 2017 winner who coaches the Netherlands, and Asako Takakura, who coached Japan to theWomen’s Asian Cup title.
The male candidates include Lyon boss Reynald Pedros and Brazil’s Vadao, whose team won the Copa America Femenina.
At the ceremony in London in September, FIFA will make awards to the best goalkeeper, the best goal, and a fan award.
mp (AP, AFP)