Nominees unveiled for The Best FIFA Awards

Ian Watson

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar will again battle it out to be named the best player in the world in FIFA’s annual awards.

The trio – who star for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris St Germain respectively – make up the three-man shortlist for top male player in The Best FIFA Football Awards.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is on the three-man list for the best men’s coach award after the Italian led the Blues to the Premier League title in his first season in charge.

The nominees for the seven award categories were announced on Friday afternoon, with the winners to be confirmed in a ceremony at the London Palladium on October 23.

Portugal forward Ronaldo will be aiming to retain the inaugural award after helping drive Real Madrid on to Champions League and LaLiga glory last season.

Barcelona playmaker Messi, himself a five-time world footballer of the year, again makes the shortlist, along with his former team-mate Neymar, who has since completed a world-record transfer to PSG.

Messi was runner-up in the 2016 voting, with France and Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann in third place.

Conte is up against Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane and Massimiliano Allegri, whose Juventus side lost the 2017 Champions League final in Cardiff, in the men’s coaching category.

The women’s player prize is a contest between current holder Carli Lloyd, the United States international who had a loan spell with Manchester City last season, Venezuelan teenager Deyna Castellanos and Lieke Martens, part of Holland’s successful Euro 2017 side.

A prize for goalkeepers has been introduced this year, with Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus, Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas and Bayern Munich’s Germany international Manuel Neuer the men in contention.

The shortlist for the best women’s coach features Nils Nielsen of Denmark, Lyon’s Gerard Precheur and Holland’s Sarina Wiegman.

There is a chance to vote online for the best goal from a 10-strong list in the 2017 FIFA Puskas Award, which will be reduced down to three ahead of the ceremony.

Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud’s scorpion kick against Crystal Palace, Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic’s long-range strike in the FA Cup semi-final and Moussa Dembele finishing off a team move by Celtic are all included.

A special Fan Award will also be handed out following a poll, with supporters of Borussia Dortmund, Celtic and Copenhagen making the shortlist.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, meanwhile, were the only British players included on a 55-man list for FIFA’s team of the year, but neither made the top three for the individual award.

:: 2017 The Best FIFA Awards Nominees

Men’s Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal & Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Argentina & Barcelona), Neymar (Brazil & Barcelona/Paris St Germain)

Women’s Player: Deyna Castellanos (Venezuela & Santa Clarita Blue Heat/Florida State Seminoles), Carli Lloyd (United States & Houston Dash/Manchester City Women), Lieke Martens (Holland & Barcelona Femeni)

Men’s Coach: Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus), Antonio Conte (Chelsea), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)

Women’s Coach: Nils Nielsen (Denmark), Gerard Precheur (Lyon), Sarina Wiegman (Holland)

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy & Juventus), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica & Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Germany & Bayern Munich)

Puskas Award (Best Goal): Kevin-Prince Boateng (Las Palmas), Alejandro Camargo (Universidad de Concepcion), Deyna Castellanos (Venezuela under-17), Moussa Dembele (Celtic), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Aviles Hurtado (Tijuana Xolos), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Oscarine Masuluke (Baroka FC), Nemanja Matic (Chelsea), Jordi Mboula (Barcelona under-19)

Fan Award: Borussia Dortmund supporters, Celtic supporters, FC Copenhagen supporters