Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah and Luka Modric have been named on the shortlist for the FIFA player of the year award. This is the first time in 12 years that Lionel Messi has failed to make the cut
Luka Modric (pictured above, right) made the shortlist for the FIFA Best award, which was announced on Monday, for helping Real Madrid to a third-straight Champions League title in May and then captaining Croatia to the World Cup final. Modric won the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament and was named the UEFA Men's Player of the Year a few week's later.
Mohamed Salah (above, left), who like Modric has made the shortlist for the first time, got there based on the 32 goals he scored in the Premier League for Liverpool last season (44 in all competitions). Although Liverpool reached the final against Madrid, he was was forced off early after injuring his shoulder following a challenge from Sergio Ramos.
The holder, Cristiano Ronaldo (above, middle), who has won the award five times since 2008, was the top scorer in the Champions League, leading Real Madrid to a third-straight European title, their fourth in five years – before leaving for Juventus in the summer.
In the coaching category, Didier Deschamps, who led France to the World Cup title in Russia, was nominated alongside Zlatko Dalic of Croatia. Zinedine Zidane, who quit Real Madrid after a third straight Champions League title, completes the shortlist.
Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan of European and French champions Lyon, Norway's Ada Hegerberg and Marta, who captained Brazil to the Copa America Feminina title, are the finalists for the top women's player.
In the women coaching category, Sarina Wiegman, the 2017 winner for leading the Netherlands to the European championship, is joined by Asako Takakura, who guided Japan to the Asian Games title last week, and Reynald Pedros of France.
The award is decided through a combination of votes from national team coaches, captains, members of the media and fans, and is to be presented at the Best FIFA Football Awards on September 24 in London.
pfd/mp (dpa, AFP, AP)