Last year, the much-coveted individual crown was won by Cristiano Ronaldo.
FIFA announced their three-man shortlist for the men’s best player for the 2017-2018 season. The panel of judges that included Brazilian legend, Ronaldo Lima, Fabio Capello and Chelsea ace Frank Lampard, compiled an initial 10-man shortlist for the prize.
The subsequent voting from journalists, fans, national team coaches and captains saw Barcelona’s Lionel Messi miss out on a top three spot. Also, missing was PSG’s talisman Neymar, who finished third in last year’s poll.
The three players who still remain in contention for the prize are, Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, Liverpool’s Mohamad Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo currently of Juventus.
We at Khel Now take a look at the three nominees for FIFA’s Best Men’s Player of the Year for the 2017/2018 season:
1. Luka Modric
The little Croatian sparkled for Real Madrid in the heart of their midfield, as they powered their way to a third consecutive UEFA Champions League title. However, the Galacticos failed to hit the same heights in the league as they did in Europe.
Modric was instrumental in everything good that Real Madrid did, ending the league with a pass success rate of 89.9%. The 32-year-old also led his country to an unprecedented runners-up position at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where Croatia missed out on the title to France. However, Modric was awarded the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament, making the 2017/2018 season one to remember for the midfielder.
2. Mohammad Salah
Salah’s move to Anfield from Roma did not turn too many heads when it happened, but the “Egyptian King” hit the ground running on his return to the Premier League and did not look back. He went on to break no less than ten Premier League records, as he scored a mammoth 42 goals for the Reds.
Salah’s goalscoring form carried on to the Champion’s league where he guided his side to the final of the Champions League. However, the World Cup in Russia proved to be a disappointment for the Egyptian who came into the tournament as a doubt following a shoulder injury that he picked up during the Champions League final. Egypt crashed out in the group stages, but Salah still managed to score two goals in the competition.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
The 2017/2018 season started off slowly by the Portuguese striker’s lofty standards, with the goals seeming to have dried up in the first half of the season. However, the 33-year-old proved that class is indeed permanent as he finished the campaign as Real Madrid’s top scorer with 26-goals in the league and as the top scorer in the Champions League with 15. The Madrid side with Ronaldo as their talisman went on to win their third consecutive Champions League title.
Ronaldo, also starred for Portugal at the World Cup as he scored four goals in his side’s run to the quarterfinals, including a spectacular hat-trick in their first match against Spain. Following the tournament, the forward completed a move to Juventus in his quest to conquer yet another of the top leagues in the world. Ronaldo’s spectacular effort against his current side has also been nominated for the Puskas Award.
The winner of the award will be announced on the 24th of September at the FIFA awards gala in London.