Messi headlines shortlist for FIFA Best Player award

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Argentina featured heavily in shortlists for FIFA’s Best awards following their World Cup triumph, with forwards Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and coach Lionel Scaloni receiving nominations in their categories.

Messi, along with his Paris St Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, were among the 14 players shortlisted for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, the world gov-erning body said on Thursday.

The trio are joined by last year’s winner Robert Lewandowski of Barcelona, Manchester City play-maker Kevin De Bruyne, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and PSG’s Neymar and Achraf Hakimi.

Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, who won the 2022 Ballon d’Or award, is also in the shortlist.

Barca and Arsenal dominate the women’s award with three players each including Alexia Putellas, Keira Walsh and Aitana Bonmati for the Spanish champions while the English side are represented by Leah Williamson, Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead. Putellas makes it into the shortlist despite missing much of last year due to a knee ligament injury.

Chelsea duo Sam Kerr and Jessie Fleming and Olympique Lyonnais’ Ada Hegerberg and Wendie Renard also make the cut.

Sarina Wiegman, who led England to last year’s European Championship title, is joined on The Best FIFA Women’s Coach shortlist by Chelsea’s Emma Hayes and Germany manager Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti and Man-chester City’s Pep Guardiola are nominated for the men’s award, along with Argentina’s Scaloni, France boss Didier Deschamps and Morocco manager Walid Regragui.

Liverpool’s Alisson Becker, Real Madrid’s Thi-baut Courtois and Aston Villa’s Martinez are among the nominees for The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award.—APP