World’s football governing body has announced 24 candidates for the Best FIFA Men’s player award, with Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo deemed as the favourite to win that prestigious accolade for the second year running.
Ronaldo’s prolific form last year helped Real win a third Champions League crown in four years, and a first La Liga title in five years, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Portuguese hero could face a competition from his rival Lionel Messi, who finished up as La Liga’s top-scorer with 37 goals, and also helped Barcelona win the Copa Del Rey.
Ronaldo finished as the top-scorer in the Champions League with 12 goals, and alongside the 32-year-old, the other six Los Blancos’ nominees include Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal and Keylor Navas.
Despite enduring one of their toughest seasons last time, Barcelona have Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez and Neymar (although he has departed to PSG), along with Messi.
Juventus are represented by three players – Leonardo Bonucci, Gianluigi Buffon, and Paulo Dybala; while Bayern Munich also have three players on the nominees’ list.
Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez boost the numbers in the Premier League list.
Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang round out the full list of 24 players to have been nominated for the accolade.
The award, which covers the period of Nov 20 2016, to July 2, 2017, is voted for by the national team coaches, captains, selected media and fans, and the results will be handed out at the Best FIFA Football awards ceremony on October 23 in London.
Written by Pragadeesh Shanmugam
United fan since Edwin Van der Sar denied Nicolas Anelka’s penalty to earn a dramatic Euro glory. Firmly believes that Lionel Messi deserves to win the Ballon d’Or until he plays this sport. One time writer for GiveMeSport and Roar. A regular contributor to Sportskeeda and BlameFootball.