Paris Saint-Germain teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe will go head-to-head once again after being named in the three-man final list for FIFA’s “The Best” award.
The duo will be joined by Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema as the initial list was trimmed down to just three names.
Messi was beaten to last year’s award by then Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
The 35-year-old will be the favourite to land the trophy this year after a stellar campaign with Argentina which saw him lift the World Cup trophy in Qatar. Messi contributed seven goals and three assists in seven matches at the tournament while also running away with the player of the tournament award.
The PSG forward also has 29 goal contributions in 25 games for the French champions this year.
If successful, Messi will equal Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of winning this iteration of the award for a second time.
Kylian Mbappe, who faced Messi in the World Cup final, also made his case for FIFA’s “The Best” award after winning the tournament’s golden boot with 8 goals including a hat trick in the final in a losing effort.
Meanwhile, the women’s shortlist was narrowed down to Alex Morgan, Alexia Putellas and Beth Mead.
USA’s Morgan won the CONCACAF Championship while Arsenal’s Mead made her case by winning the player of the tournament during England’s successful Euro 2022 campaign.
Ballon d’Or holder Alexia Putellas scored 34 goals in all competitions for Barcelona last season, helping her side to a domestic treble while also topping the Champions League scoring charts with 11 goals.
The awards will be presented on February 27th.