Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah have emerged as the final three nominees for FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player of the Year award.
Ronaldo and Modric both led Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title in May while Salah scored 44 goals in a record breaking debut season for Liverpool.
The final three means there’s no place for Lionel Messi whose Barcelona side won LaLiga last term but crashed out in the quarterfinals of the Champions League to Roma who overturned a 4-1 first leg defeat.
Croatia midfielder Modric earns his place in the final three for his performances at the World Cup as his nation reached the final for the first time in their history. He won the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player.
FIFA’s The Best award is voted for by four groups, each with 25 per cent weight in the final vote: national team coaches, national team captains, high-profile journalists and football fans.
It broke away from the Ballon d’Or in 2016 and it will be the first time since 2006 that Messi has not been in the final three for FIFA’s award for best player of the season.
Ronaldo has been in the final three for every FIFA best player award except 2010, when it was a Barcelona one-two-three (Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta) for the first FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony.