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FIFA release list of Best Men’s Player Award 2022 nominees – Ronaldo missing

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By Martin Graham | 13th Jan 2023

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe are on the shortlist for the FIFA Best Men’s Player Award 2022. Cristiano Ronaldo is conspicuously missing after a dour year with Manchester United.

Football awards have become nothing more than a popularity contest. It used to carry a lot of weight, with the fans looking forward to the ceremony. Fans used to have a fair idea who the winner would be due to his contributions in the year in question, but it has become a marketing tool for FIFA and its likes.

The ceremony has been fraught with controversies in the years past, with disagreements over the choice of winners. It has led to the awards losing credibility, with fans concerned about bragging rights being the only ones interested in the outcome. FIFA has a massive job to do in laundering the image of the awards and bringing back its lost glory.

The annual popularity contest organised by FIFA is on the cards again. Ahead of selecting a winner, the football governing body has released a shortlist of nominees for the award this year. The usual suspects are on the list. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the main protagonists, but like last year, one is missing from the list.

Cristiano Ronaldo – missing from the FIFA nominees

The complete list of the 2022 FIFA best men’s player award nominees is out. The list comprises several stars, but one name is conspicuously missing. Lionel Messi missed the cut last year, and his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo has followed suit. Ronaldo had a poor season and did not make it.

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, who were part of the Argentina and France national teams that made it to the World Cup final, top the list. There was no space for Ronaldo, who had a torrid time at Old Trafford before joining Al-Nassr after the World Cup.

Perhaps it is the end of the road for Cristiano Ronaldo, who will clock 38 soon. The Portugal international struggled to get game time under new Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag. The relationship blew over, with Ronaldo releasing a damning interview that ended his stay at the club.

Memorable moments of 2022

There are several memorable moments to look back to in 2022. Undoubtedly the FIFA World Cup victory by Argentina tops the list and would count for a lot when the voting commences. It is easy to say that Lionel Messi would walk home with the award as he is the most marketable.

Other events in the year include the tenth straight Bundesliga win by Bayern Munich and how Erling Haaland has turned the Premier League into a Mickey Mouse league. Senegal also won their first Africa Cup of Nations trophy, while Morocco became the first African side to reach the final four at the World Cup.

Notable names on the list include Karim Benzema, who won the Champions League and La Liga Santander with Real Madrid. Others are Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, who both played in the World Cup finals. While Messi won with Argentina, Mbappe finished top scorer and scored a hat trick in the final.

The complete list of the 2022 FIFA best men’s player award nominees is as follows:

Julian Alvarez – River Plate/Manchester City

Jude Bellingham – Borussia Dortmund

Karim Benzema  – Real Madrid

Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund/Manchester City

Achraf Hakimi – Paris Saint-Germain

Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich/Barcelona

Sadio Mane – Liverpool/Bayern Munich

Kylian Mbappe – Paris Saint-Germain

Lionel Messi – Paris Saint-Germain

Luka Modric – Real Madrid

Neymar – Paris Saint-Germain

Mohamed Salah – Liverpool

Vinicius Junior – Real Madrid

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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