The Best FIFA football award is aimed at rewarding the best player who outperformed everyone else in the football world in the past year. From this year onwards, players’ display will be analysed and judged between 8th August 2021 and 18th December 2022. According to the preliminary results, three forwards will be finalists of this year’s honour, namely Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi, France and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé as well as France and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.
Messi: FIFA World Cup Winning-Captain the Favourite?
Prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year, Messi’s best achievement in the quadrennial tournament was only a second-placed finish back in 2014. The record was rewritten after December as his resume now is added with the last missing piece of accolades: The FIFA World Cup trophy. Not only did Messi’s leadership influence the team’s morale throughout the competition, his own moments of sheer brilliance also saw him net seven goals and lay three assists, earning him the Golden Ball award and becoming the only person on Earth to have multiple said awards. The title was Argentina’s third overall in the history of football and it came 36 years after their last triumph.
Mbappé: Missing the Award by a Whisker?
Messi and his Argentina may have won it all in last year’s FIFA World Cup, but they had to fend off a resilient French team, led by its star talisman and Messi’s French Ligue 1 teammate Kylian Mbappé. The 24-year-old player scored eight goals in the entire tournament, including a second-ever hat-trick in the World Cup finals and allowing himself to bag the Golden Boot award as France’s consolation prize in the 22nd edition of the contest. According to the new judging timeline, the Paris-born player had scored an incredible 58 goals in all competitions for his club, making him the highest scorer in Europe’s top five football leagues. Mbappé’s nomination for the top three spots of the FIFA Best Men’s Player award will be the second time a French footballer has done so, but will he be the first player from the country to capture that elusive silverware?
Benzema: Eyeing for More Personal Successes After Winning the Ballon d’Or
The 35-year-old forward and captain of Spanish La Liga giant Real Madrid captured individual trophies such as the 2022 Ballon d’Or and the 2021/2022 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, hence it would only be wise that the Frenchman is hungry for more personal titles under his belt. His impressive performance during the new format of timeline included scoring half a century of goals in all competitions for Los Blancos, helping the team in white capturing titles such as La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. Nonetheless, the player agonisingly missed out on the chance to close 2022 on a high note, after he suffered an injury just before the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, in which his presence and veteran experience would have helped the wounded Les Bleus to defend the title they won four years ago.
Julián Álvarez (Argentina, Manchester City), Jude Bellingham (England, Borussia Dortmund), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City), Erling Haaland (Norway, Borussia Dortmund), Achraf Hakimi (Morocco, Paris Saint-Germain) Vinícius Júnior (Brazil, Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Barcelona), Sadio Mané (Senegal, Bayern Munich), Luka Modrić (Croatia, Real Madrid), Neymar (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool).
27th February Is the Day
The ceremony of the Best FIFA Football Awards 2022 will take place in Paris, France at the end of this month. Should Messi add this award to his trophy cabinet, it will be his second time winning the honour, while a win for either Mbappé or Benzema would mean the first time a French player bagging home the award. Who do you think will be the winner this time around? Tell us below.