No Ronaldo as Salah joins Messi and Lewandowski for FIFA award – Journal

ZURICH: Cristiano Ronaldo was excluded from the list of three candidates on Friday for the FIFA Best Player Award for 2021, with Mohamed Salah instead.

Six-time FIFA award winners Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski are also candidates for the award on January 17. Lewandowski won last year ahead of Ronaldo and Messi.

No player from the European Championship-winning Italian team or Chelsea’s Champions League champions were on the shortlist.

Five-time winner Ronaldo has failed to qualify for just the second time since his first FIFA 2007 award nomination. He missed out on the 2010 awards when Messi won ahead of Andrs Iniesta and Xavi.

Juventus, with Ronaldo in the squad, lost their long-standing grip on the Serie A title, coming in fourth, and defending champions Portugal were knocked out in the round of 16 of Euro 2020.

Salah was rewarded for another outstanding year with Liverpool by joining the shortlist for the second time. He placed third in 2018 behind winner Luka Modric and Ronaldo.

The year Messi left Barcelona for Paris St Germain, he peaked helping Argentina win the Copa Amrica for their first senior title with the national team. He won his seventh career Ballon d’Or trophy last month.

Lewandowski broke two Bundesliga records, scoring 41 goals for Bayern Munich in the 2020-21 season and 43 in the 2021 calendar year. Both brands have been owned since 1972 by another Bayern great, Gerd Mueller.

The vote was taken by the coaches and captains of the national teams, the specialist media and the fans who made their choices on the FIFA website. They chose from a longer list of players proposed by panels nominated by FIFA.

Barcelona teammates Alexia Putellas and Jennifer Hermoso, and Chelsea player Sam Kerr have been put on the women’s list.

Putellas won the women’s Ballon d’Or last month, Hermoso second and Kerr third.

The winner will succeed England’s Lucy Bronze, who won the previous prize.

The awards ceremony will be held virtually from FIFA headquarters in Zurich on January 17.

Manuel Neuer, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Edouard Mendy are in the running for Best Men’s Goalkeeper honors, while Roberto Mancini, Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola are the three nominees for Best Men’s Coach.

Lluis Cortes, who led the Barcelona women to a hat-trick last season, faces Chelsea coach Emma Hayes and Sarina Wiegman, the former Netherlands boss now in charge of England, for best women’s coach .

Posted in Dawn, January 8, 2022

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