Similar to the World Cup final, Paris Saint-Germain teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe will face off for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award for 2022 on Monday. Karim Benzema, the winner of the Ballon d’Or, will be the third candidate.
After leading Argentina to victory over Mbappe’s France in that thrilling match in Qatar, Messi seems to be the favorite to win another individual award at the event in Paris.
Messi has won the Ballon d’Or seven times and the FIFA award once (it was established in 2016 after FIFA’s breakup with the Ballon d’Or organizers, France Football).
Messi finished second to Robert Lewandowski in each of the last two championships, but the 35-year-career-crowning old’s World Cup victory was the pivotal event of 2022.
Fans can cast their votes, but the winner is chosen by a committee that includes the head coach and captain of each men’s national team as well as one journalist from each nation.
Mbappe tied the game at 3-3 after extra time despite Messi scoring twice, becoming the first player since Geoff Hurst in 1966 to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. Nonetheless, France ultimately lost in a shootout.
The tournament’s leading scorer was Mbappe, who turned 24 shortly after the final and had one more goal than Messi, who won the Golden Ball award for the best player, with eight goals.
Despite being joined at PSG by Messi, who was France’s player of the year and the league’s top scorer, he was also without a doubt the club’s most crucial player in the year leading up to the World Cup.
Their World Cup triumphs, though, take center stage.
Messi has the best chance of winning because he won the World Cup, as Ruud Gullit, a previous Ballon d’Or winner, acknowledged.
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Gullit, a Dutchman, was speaking in his capacity as a member of the Laureus Academy, which just nominated Messi and Mbappe for their respective awards.
“But Mbappe is someone I greatly respect. He is equal to me in my eyes. It was remarkable what he did in the end to accept the responsibility “Added he.
The fact that Benzema missed the World Cup due to injury hurt his prospects of earning another individual award.
Because of his role in a blackmail issue involving a sextape involving a former teammate, Benzema was exiled from the French team for five and a half years. His Ballon d’Or victory last October had finished his own career redemption.
The Real Madrid striker, who is now 35, led his team to victory in the Champions League and La Liga last season by scoring 44 goals in 46 games.
This season, he has kept on scoring goals.
“I am really, really proud of my journey,” he stated after claiming the Ballon d´Or.
Despite being sidelined since July with a knee injury, current Ballon d’Or Alexia Putellas, who won the Best title the previous year, is once again nominated for the women’s award.
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The other finalists are American superstar Alex Morgan and forward Beth Mead of England.
The three candidates for men’s coach of the year are Carlo Ancelotti of Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola of Manchester City, and Argentina’s Lionel Scaloni.
The women’s coach award is being considered by Pia Sundhage from Brazil, Sonia Bompastor from Lyon, and Sarina Wiegman from England, who won Euro 2022.
Richarlison’s World Cup goal against Serbia is one of three candidates for the Ferenc Puskas Award for best goal, which is named after the legendary Hungarian striker.
There are additional nominations for Marcin Oleksy, a Polish amputee player, and Dimitri Payet of Marseille. There is also a category for the best male and female goalie.