Lionel Messi NOT included as finalist for FIFA best men's player award
Barcelona and Argentina captain Lionel Messi has not been named as a finalist for The Best FIFA Men's Player Award. The final three players nominated for the award are Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah.
Messi endured a torrid 2018 World Cup with La Albiceleste, where they were sent home by eventual winners France in a 4-3 thriller in Russia.
It is the first time that Barca's all-time top scorer and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has been overlooked for the award since its inception in 2016, which was created as a continuation of the aforementioned Ballon d'Or.
It is the third time Ronaldo has been involved, with the other nominees in previous years being Antoine Griezmann and Neymar.
The Portuguese winger added his third UEFA Champions League title in a row with Real Madrid in May, but at Russia 2018 couldn't help Portugal past the round of 16, despite scoring a stunning hat-trick versus Spain in the group stage.
The 33-year-old, who has since completed a $117 million move to Juventus, was reportedly unhappy not to have bagged the UEFA Player of the Year award for his efforts at their recent awards ceremony.
Modric earned his spot on the finalists list by being part of that same Madrid team who won a successive trio of European crowns, and was the lynchpin in the Croatia midfield as the tiny Balkan nation reached an unprecedented World Cup final in Russia.
Completing the final three lineup is Salah, who, although he didn't achieve success on the domestic or international stage, was named Premier League player of the year after bagging 44 goals for Liverpool in 2017/18.