The star Lionel Messi and the technical directors Lionel Scaloni and Diego Simeone were the three Argentines nominated in their respective categories to compete for the FIFA The Best awards, whose gala will be held virtually from the headquarters of the entity itself, in Zurich , on January 17 of next year.
Messi, winner of the statuette for the best footballer in the world in 2019, was on the list along with ten other footballers, among whom stand out his teammates at Paris Saint Germain, the Brazilian Neymar and the French Kylian Mbappé, and the Polish Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), winner of the award in the last installment. There is also the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), who achieved it in its first two editions (2016 and 2017) since FIFA separated the Golden Ball award, traditionally awarded by the magazine France Football.
In the field of coaches, Scaloni, champion of the Copa América and already classified for Qatar 2022 with the Argentine national team, and Diego Simeone, winner of the Spanish La Liga with Atlético de Madrid, were left in the race with five other European colleagues: Hans Flick, Bundesliga champion with Bayern Munich; Thomas Tuchel, winner of the Champions League with Chelsea; Pep Guardiola, winner of the Premier League with Manchester City; Roberto Mancini, champion of the Eurocopa with Italy; and Antonio Conte, winner of Serie A with Inter. Simeone, 51, had been nominated in 2017 but then was left out of the shortlist, which did come from Rosario Mauricio Pochettino (2019) and Marcelo Bielsa (2020), but without accessing the award. For Scaloni it is the first appearance for a distinction of this style.
Another possible Argentine candidate was goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez, chosen as the best in the Premier League and a figure in the National Team in the Copa América and in the Qualifiers. Draw had already appeared among the candidate goalkeepers for the Ballon d’Or gala in France Football, but in this award was out of the favorites Alisson Becker Gianluigi Donnarumma, Édouard Mendy, Manuel Neuer and Kasper Schmeichel.
The preselection of the candidates in each category was carried out with the collaboration of a panel of experts in men’s soccer and another in women’s soccer. In the next instance, which started this Monday and will run until December 10, the captains and coaches of each member association team, plus a group of specialized journalists and another group of fans registered on FIFA.com will cast their vote for define the winners.
The three most backed by the electronic certification will make up the shortlists that will be announced by FIFA in the first days of next year.
The list of candidates for the FIFA Puskás Award (awarded to the best goal of the year) will be announced later, the highest governing body of football reported.
The list of all candidates:
The Best to the FIFA Player
Stina Blackstenius (Sweden), Aitana Bonmati (Spain), Lucy Bronze (England), Magdalena Eriksson (Sweden), Caroline Graham-Hansen (Norway), Pernille Harder (Denmark), Jennifer Hermoso (Spain), Ji So-yun (Korea del Sur), Sam Kerr (Australia), Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands), Ellen White (England), Alexia Putellas (Spain) and Christine Sinclair (Canada).
The Best FIFA Player
Lionel Messi (Argentina), Karim Benzema (France), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Neymar (Brazil), Erling Haaland (Norway), Jorginho (Italy), N’Golo Kanté (France), Kylian Mbappé (France) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt).
The Best Women’s Soccer Coach
Lluís Cortés (Spain), Peter Gerhardsson (Sweden), Emma Hayes (England), Beverly Priestman (England), Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands).
The Best Men’s Soccer Coach
Lionel Scaloni (Argentina), Diego (Argentina), Antonio Conte (Italy), Hansi Flick (Germany), Pep Guardiola (Spain), Roberto Mancini (Italy) and Thomas Tuchel (Germany).
The Best to the FIFA Goalkeeper
Ann-Katrin Berger (Germany), Christiane Endler (Chile), Stephanie Lynn Marie Labbé (Canada), Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden) and Alyssa Naeher (USA)).
The Best to the FIFA Goalkeeper –
Alisson Becker (Brazil), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy), Édouard Mendy (Senegal), Manuel Neuer (Germany) and Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark).