According to Spanish outlet Diario Sport, Lionel Messi has been left off the podium for FIFA’s The Best. Incomprehensibly, the Barcelona forward is not in the final three for the world football governing body’s prestigious annual prize.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mo Salah are the three finalists.
They top a shortlist of 10, which did include Messi, along with De Bruyne, Varane, Salah, Hazard, Kane and Mbappe. The official shortlist will be announced by FIFA on Monday.
Last Thursday, at the Champions League draw, Modric was named as the best player in Europe for last season. Real Madrid also scooped the positional prizes at the event: Keylor Navas (goalkeeper), Sergio Ramos (defender), Modric (midfielder) and Ronaldo (forward), now at Juventus but chosen for his performances with Los Blancos.
Messi has finished second in the two editions of The Best to date, always behind Cristiano. Neymar was third in 2016 and Griezmann in 2017.
The winner will be named on September 24 at a gala in London. The prizes are voted for by players, coaches journalists and fans through the Internet.