Messi, Mbappé and Benzema are finalists in the FIFA best in the world award

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Captain of the Cup-winning team and named player of the tournament, Lionel Messi could claim the best on the planet award for the seventh time, beating his own record.

The Argentine was announced by Fifa on Friday (10) as one of the finalists for the best in the world award in 2022. The other finalists are the French Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappé.

Messi is already the player who has won the trophy the most: on six occasions (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019).

The announcement ceremony of the chosen one will be held by the entity on the 27th.

For the fifth consecutive year, Brazil does not place any finalist in the category of best male player. The last was Neymar, in 2017. The country has not had a first-place candidate since Kaká, in 2007.

In the female category, the Spanish Alexia Putellas tries to be elected for the second consecutive year. She will compete with the English Beth Mead and the American Alex Morgan.

Brazil has not had a finalist for the award since 2018, when Marta won the trophy.

Mead was named the best player at last year’s Euros, which England won. She was also one of the top scorers, alongside German Alexandra Popp, both with six goals. That could make them favorites to win, although Putellas scored 34 goals for Barcelona last season in Europe. At 11, she was the top scorer in the Champions League.

Alex Morgan arrives at the accredited final for having been the top scorer in the last league in the United States.

FIFA has changed the election criteria for this year. Not only will the pre-election season be taken into account, but also the six months of the current one. Thus, voters must evaluate the performance of players in the 2021-2022 season and at the beginning of the 2022-2023 season.

The coach of the Brazilian national team, the Swedish Pia Sundhage, is one of the finalists in the category of best coach of the year. She will compete with the Dutch Sarina Wiegnman, Eurocup champion with England, and the French Sonia Bompastor, winner of the Champions League with Lyon.

In men, Lionel Scaloni, world champion with Argentina, can be considered favorite against Carlo Ancelotti, from Real Madrid, winner of the Champions League, and Pep Guardiola, winner of the Premier League with Manchester City.

In the men’s player category, Lionel Messi could have been seen as an underdog even three months ago. The main candidate would be Karim Benzema, winner of the Ballon d’Or, France Football magazine award and star of European champion Real Madrid. But the World Cup changed everything.

Messi gave a performance to make history in Qatar and captained Argentina to lift the trophy. With seven goals, he ended up as vice-scorer. Benzema, injured days before the French debut, was cut.

The main scorer of the competition was Mbappé, but he can be considered an underdog for not having won any relevant trophies last season. For Paris Saint-Germain, he was French champion, alongside Messi.

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