FIFA has announced the nomination of three players for the Best Player award, with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland in the running for the award.
Football’s governing body announced the previous list of stars put forward for consideration back in September, but the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Declan Rice have now dropped out of contention.
The 12 nominees were selected by a panel of experts, but the final three were determined by an international panel of coaches and captains of the men’s national team, journalists and fans who voted on the FIFA website.
Messi is defending his man of the match award as he lifts the gong in 2022 after leading Argentina to World Cup glory. He then won Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain before joining Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.
Mbappe was the losing finalist in Qatar, despite leading France to a penalty shoot-out with a hat-trick, and was PSG’s leading scorer as they set out to win the top-flight title.
Haaland was a key cog in Manchester City’s dominant 2022/23 campaign, winning the treble and netting 52 goals in all competitions. 36 of those came in the Premier League as the Norwegian set a new record for most strikes in a single season among many other feats.
Messi won the award for the second time in 2022, after Robert Lewandowski won it in 2020 and 2021.