REVEALED: Lionel Messi could have an advantage over Mo Salah and Robert Lewandowski in the race for FIFA’s The Best award, with stars’ achievements beyond August NOT being considered
- Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah have all been shortlisted
- The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award will be dished out on January 17
- Despite a poor start to the season, Messi remains the favourite for the award
Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah have all been shortlisted for the star-studded Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award.
The trio beat off competition from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema to stand a chance of picking up the trophy on January 17.
But with the award based on performances within a specific time period, Messi could have an advantage despite his below-par start with PSG.
Lionel Messi remains the favourite for the FIFA Best award despite a poor start to this season
FIFA state: ‘The panel will select the winner for their respective achievements during the period from 8 October 2020 to 7 August 2021’.
In 11 appearances for PSG, Messi has scored just one Ligue 1 goal this season. However, that will not play into account when considering him for the award.
During the time period mentioned by FIFA, the Argentine scored 43 goals in 47 games, assisting 17 before leaving boyhood club Barcelona for a fresh start in France.
Messi also won the Copa del Rey with Barca and lifted his first major piece of silverware with his country, having led Argentina to the Copa America in July.
Robert Lewandoski had another year to remember but will be the underdog for the award
Mohamed Salah is currently the Premier League top goal scorer after a superb run of form
In comparison, Lewandowski has 51 goals and eight assists during that time, whereas Salah has 26 goals and six assists, but his superb start to this season with Liverpool will not come into consideration.
The shortlist voting was conducted by national team coaches and captains, specialist media and football fans making their choices online.
Messi has taken home the gong on no less than six occasions, while Lewandowski emerged triumphant last year ahead of the PSG star and Cristiano Ronaldo.
FIFA will officially unveil the winner of the award in an online ceremony in Zurich later this month.