Zurich, Dec 2 (IANS) World football’s governing body on Friday named perennial rivals Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann as the final three nominees for The Best Mens Player Award.
FIFA pruned a list of 23 names down to the elite trio after voting by captains and coaches of national teams, select members of the media and fans on fifa.com.
The winner will be crowned on January 9.
Ronaldo had an outstanding year in continental competitions, securing his third Champions League title, his second for Real Madrid, finishing as the top scorer with 16 goals on the way to the final, in which the Portuguese scored the winning penalty in the shootout against Atletico Madrid.
Six weeks later, he captained his country to their first major trophy, scoring three goals to help his side to victory.
Atletico Madrid’s Griezmann announced himself as one of the world’s outstanding players this year thanks, in part, to his performances on home soil at 2016 Euro.
The forward was the top scorer in the tournament as he helped his country reach the final, only to be defeated by Ronaldo’s Portugal.
The Frenchman also ended the 2015-16 season as his club side’s top goalscorer, helping Atletico to third in La Liga, and to a tight final defeat to Ronald”s Real in the Champions League.
Argentina and FC Barcelona’s talisman Messi had yet another phenomenal year, guiding his side to a league and cup double, scoring 26 goals in an incredibly tight La Liga title race, and captaining his country to the final of the Copa America Centenario. Argentina lost to Chile in the final.