Argentina – France World Cup final match in Lusail, Qatar, December 18, 2022. Lionel Messi of Argentina with the World Cup trophy.
Zurich – Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema are in the final nomination for The Best award for the best footballer in the world for 2022 according to the international federation FIFA. The winner of the previous two years, Robert Lewandowski, did not make the three-man shortlist. FIFA informed about it on its website. The announcement ceremony will take place on February 27 in Paris. The award will be given by the federation for achievements in the period from August 8, 2021 to December 18, 2022.
Thirty-five-year-old Messi won last year with Paris St. Germain French title, but he celebrated his greatest successes at the national team level. He captained Argentina to their first World Cup victory in 36 years and ended their wait for the last major trophy. In Qatar, he also received the prize for the best player of the tournament. With the national team, he was also successful in the newly established Finalissimo match between the winners of the European and South American championships. Argentina defeated Italy 3:0.
In the FIFA poll, which has been held since 2016, Messi has so far only succeeded in 2019. He finished second three times and third once.
His PSG teammate Mbappé was the top scorer at the World Cup with eight goals, in the final but despite his hat-trick, France lost to Argentina in a penalty shoot-out. The 24-year-old gunner became the top scorer in the French league for the fourth time in a row.
Benzema was absent from the World Cup due to injury, but he had a more successful season at the club level than his competitors. As captain, he led Real Madrid to the Spanish title and triumph in the Champions League. He dominated the Gunners table in both competitions.
The 35-year-old Frenchman can win the third poll for the past season. In August, he became the best footballer in Europe in the UEFA poll, and in October he also won the Golden Ball for the best footballer in the world for the first time.
Stars of the year in the FIFA poll are chosen by the captains and coaches of the national teams, fans and representatives of the media. For the first time, two-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo was missing from the fourteen-member wider nomination.