World Cup stars Kylian Mbappe and Luka Modric are among the contenders to end Cristiano Ronaldo’s hold on FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player award after the shortlist was announced on Tuesday, but Neymar was not among the nominees.
Ronaldo, who has won this honour in both years of its existence, is once again nominated, but faces arguably his toughest challenge yet, following so many impressive performances in Russia.
The award, created in 2016 following FIFA’s split with the Ballon d’Or, will this year honour the standout player from July 3, 2017 to July 15, 2018 — and in that period, Modric won the Champions League with Real Madrid, while also helping Croatia reach the World Cup final where his performances earned him the Golden Ball.
Club teammate Raphael Varane enjoyed an even more stellar summer as he won both the Champions League with Real Madrid and the World Cup with France, and was integral player for both.
But France’s star in Russia was Mbappe, who came to the fore in the knockout stages with his four goals which helped Les Bleus win the tournament for a second time. He was named the Best Young Player and became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele in 1958.
OFFICIAL | The nominees for #TheBest FIFA Men’s Player 2018:
Kevin De Bruyne
For the period 3 July 2017-15 July 2018 pic.twitter.com/bqt8tDWY8d
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) July 24, 2018