2017 FIFA Best Award will be announced on Monday and Barcelona star Lionel Messi is once again among the last three contenders to claim the prestigious award. Messi widely considered the best footballer in the world, could be eclipsed by the appearance of an 18-year-old who is probably going to leave with more silverware than the Argentine forward.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, and Lionel Messi will all stroll down the red carpet of London’s Palladium theater on Monday. In the front row, sitting close by the World most expensive player (Neymar) Five-time World footballer of the year (Messi) and Four-time footballer of the year(Ronaldo) will be female youngster Deyna Castellanos.
The Venezuelan is selected alongside Lieke Martens of the Netherlands and American Carli Lloyd as the world’s best female footballer, regardless of not playing in a professional league. She is yet to feature in any under-20s tournament nor the senior side.
The 18-year-old, currently in the second year of a four-year course in Communications, was as surprised as anybody to be up for the FIFA Best Award. Playing for Florida State, she is bound to the strict guidelines of the school administering body, the NCAA.
Deyna Castellanos goals ratio is impressive: In 2014, as a 14-year-old, she was joint top goalscorer at the Under-17 World Cup. She also bested the scoring charts again at the 2014 Youth Olympics, and at the under-17 South American Championships in 2016, before scoring another five at the Under-17 World Cup a year ago.
She has registered 14 in 15 games so far for Florida State this season and six in nine games for Santa Clarita Blue Heat, the Californian outfit she turned out for in the off-season.
One of her superb goals is even up for 2017 FIFA’s Puskas Award, which means she could leave away with two awards on Monday. Having just lifted the Copa del Rey this season, Messi will struggle to complete above most despised arch-rival Ronaldo, while Castellanos is flying high despite being in school.