Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo‘s ten-years dominace of football’s individual honors is under imminent threat from Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric and Liverpool‘s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah when FIFA’s player of the year is announced on Monday.
Without precedent for a long time Messi isn’t included in the three finalists for the award after early exits for his national side at Russia 2018 World Cup and Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Both Messi and Ronaldo have won FIFA‘s award in various guises five times each, and the Portuguese can move out without anyone else subsequent to winning a third straight Champions League title with Real Madrid before heading for a new pastures with Seria A champions.
For a 6th straight season, Ronaldo was the Champions League’s top scorer with 15 goals and furthermore scored four times at the World Cup, including a superb hattrick against Spain in an exciting 3-3 draw to open Portugal’s campaign atg the Mundial.
In any case, Portugal’s last 16 exit to Uruguay in Russia and Ronaldo’s inability to score in the semi-finals or last of the Champions League has opened the entryway for his former Real Madrid teammate Modric.
– The Time Of Luka –
Los Blancos and Croatia’s midfielder was a rousing figure as they outperformed all expectations to reach the World Cup final and also played a major part in Los Blanco’s Champions League and Club World Cup wins.
“I hope that Luka will be the best player in the world,” Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic told ‘AFP’.
“He deserves it because he was the best player in the Club World Cup and the best player in the World Cup.
“Messi and Ronaldo are fantastic players, but this year is the year of Luka.”
Egyptian forward Mo Salah likewise makes the platform out of the blue after an inconceivable 44-goals debut season for Liverpool that carried Jurgen Klopp side to the Champions League final.
However, a shoulder dislocation suffered at an early stage of the UCL final denied him the opportunity to help Liverpool to hoist the prestigious European trophy and also wasn’t in good form to lead Egypt’s World Cup campaign.
Notwithstanding scoring in every one of his two appearances in Russia, The Pharaohs bowed out at the group stage with three straight loss.
France’s World Cup-winning coach Didier Deschamps is most loved to win the best coach ahead of Croatia’s Dalic and former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, who ventured down in June in the wake of administering three Champions League triumphs in just two and a half years in charge.
Regardless of whether the duo misses out on the best player, Messi and Ronaldo could leave with a prize as they are both nominated for the Puskas award for the best goal.
Messi’s lone World Cup goal against Super Eagle of Nigeria and Ronaldo’s marvelous overhead kick against the Old Lady in the Champions League quarter-finals are two of 10 goals on the waitlist, likewise including Gareth Bale’s scintillating acrobatic strike for Real in the Champions League final.
The best goalkeeper prize is to be challenged by France skipper Hugo Lloris, Denmark’s Kasper Schmeichel and Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois, whose World Cup heroics earned him a move to Madrid from Chelsea.
Lyon’s Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg and German midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan are joined by Brazilian five-time winner Marta of Orlando Pride in the running for the best women’s player subsequent to winning the Champions League with the French giants.
Reynold Pedros of Lyon, Japan coach Asako Takakura and Netherlands head coach Sarina Wiegman are also in the running for best women’s coach.