There were no surprises in the nominees for The Best Award. After it was announced in January that 14 players would compete for the title of best player of 2022, FIFA has now officially named the three finalists: Karim Benzema, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.
The final trio of candidates is not controversial. With the Champions League and the World Cup as the main competitions to watch out for, Benzema and Mbappe will be looking for their first The Best trophy, while Messi will be aiming to win his second after securing the crown in 2019.
Benzema can cap his dream year
Karim Benzema is back in the hunt for an individual award after winning the UEFA Player of the Year award last season and crowning himself with his first Ballon d’Or in Paris in October.
In a 2022 where the Real Madrid striker has led his team to win LaLiga Santander and the Champions League, where he was the top scorer and best player in both, his injuries at the end of the year have limited his chances of taking home the trophy.,
His quadriceps injury prevented him from playing in the World Cup in Qatar, which would have been the perfect stage to reinvigorate his challenge.
Messi is the big favorite
Without a doubt, 2022 will be remembered as the year of Lionel Messi. The Argentinian, after numerous failed attempts, finally won the World Cup in Qatar, crowning himself for many as ‘the best in history’.
Now, the PSG player has before him the chance to take home his second The Best, having already beaten Virgil Van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to it in 2019.
First nomination for Mbappe
Remarkably, this edition is the first time Kylian Mbappe has been on the final shortlist.
The Frenchman has yet to win a prestigious individual award and this The Best could be the finishing touch to a 2022 that has shown the most decisive version of the Parisian attacker.
He was the top scorer in Ligue 1 and PSG’s best player last season. Despite the fact Mbappe was unable to lift his second World Cup in 2022, he did win the Golden Boot and score a hat-trick in the final.
The winner will be announced on Monday 27 February at a gala where the best coach, best goalkeeper and best eleven of the year, among many other awards, will also be presented.