FIFA has confirmed the final three nominees for the 2017 Men’s best player. Neymar Dos Santos Junior of Paris Saint Germain returns to the podium after missing out for sometime. He joins the usual couple of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.
The award was reintroduced last year when the football governing body broke away from balon d’or organised by the French magazine. The list of 35 players were pruned down to three as confirmed by FIFA.
Messi has already won five on the FIFA Balon d’or with Ronaldo clinching four though he won the latest edition of the Balon d’or after the split from FIFA. The Madrid danger man has also won the 2017 UEFA best player.
Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo won last year’s edition and is tipped to defend his trophy again after helping his Real Madrid side successfully defend their Champions League title after beating Juventus 4-1 in the finals played in Cardiff though he had an inconsistent performance last season. The Portuguese captain scored two goals on the final day and scored 12 goals in all to claim the top scorer award though he could only score two goals at the group stages.
Ronaldo also managed to help his club win the Spanish La Liga trophy after missing out on the home trophy for the past seven seasons. Ronaldo also scored a classical goal at the Camp Nou to help Madrid win the Spanish Super Cup on 1 5-1 aggregate.
For country, he was the best amongst his Portuguese National Teamates when they placed third in the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Lionel Messi on the other hand has hand a consistent performance from the start of last season till date but his inability to clinch any major silver ware apart from the Copa Del Rey diminishes his luck of wining the FIFA award.
Messi managed to score 11 goals in the UEFA Champions League and also won the European golden boot award after scoring 37 goals for FC Barcelona yet not good enough to win the La Liga trophy.
Messi was the main man as usual when Barcelona beat Deportivo Alaves 3-1 to win the 2016/17 Copa Del Rey which would go on to be the only trophy he takes to the podium. He was the top scorer as with five goals but shares that with Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder. He has managed to start the 2017/18 La Liga season on a very bright note as his competitor Cristiano Ronaldo was sidelined because of a five match suspension.
On the international scene, he has not enjoyed a smooth and consistent performance withe the Albiceleste of Argentina as they struggle to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup though his presence speaks voluminous for the team.
Neymar Santos Junior
Brazilian Neymar shares equivalent achievement for the year question relative to that of his former compatriot Lionel Messi . Neymar was the main architect when Barcelona made the historic come back against his current club, Paris St. Germain in the 6-1 budding at the Camp Nou after the Catalan club had suffered 4-0 defeat in the first leg of the knockout stages of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League.
He also scored 13 goals in the Spanish La Liga and then 4 goals in the UEFA Champions League. His 222 million Euros move from Barcelona to PSG has increased his fame of gaining attention for votes and the bright start with the Ligue 1 side would also give him some grip to fight for the award.
He also enjoyed some good times with his National side Brazil as his performance helped them to be the first Conmebol side to qualify for the FIFA Mundial in Russia.
The awards will take place on October, 23, 2017 in London and it would led by Nigeria’s former star, J.J Okocha, Andry Shevchenko of Ukraine and England’s Peter Shilton.
www.ghanamansports.com would like to congratulate all the nominees and wish them good luck.