Dubai: They battled it out in the World Cup final in Qatar and now Paris Saint-Germain teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe will go up against one another once again tonight in Paris for The Best FIFA Men’s Player prize.
This is one of the most important awards ceremonies in the footballing calendar and several stars and coaches could collect prizes. Last year, Robert Lewandowski received The Best FIFA Men’s Player prize with Alexia Putellas being named The Best FIFA Women’s Player.
Argentina’s Messi is now the favourite to add another individual gong to his collection after leading his country to victory over Mbappe’s France in that epic final.
Messi, who has seven Ballon d’Or titles, won the FIFA award in 2019. But the 35-year-old’s career-crowning World Cup triumph was the defining moment of 2022 and because of that many feel he will win tonight.
The winner is decided by a jury comprised of the coach and captain of every men’s national team and one journalist from each country but fans can also vote.
Mbappe became the first player to score a World Cup final hat-trick since Geoff Hurst in 1966 as he dragged France to a 3-3 draw after extra time — despite two goals by Messi — before they eventually succumbed in a shoot-out.
Mbappe was the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals, one more than Messi, who claimed the Golden Ball for best player.
The 24-year-old was also PSG’s most important player in the year leading up to the World Cup — he was Ligue 1’s leading scorer and France’s player of the year.
But because Messi won the World Cup he is the overwhelming favourite tonight.
Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema is the other contender but his chances of winning another individual honour were hit after he missed the global showpiece due to injury.
Full list of The Best FIFA 2022 nominees
The Best FIFA Women’s Player:
Aitana Bonmatí (Spain / FC Barcelona)
Debinha (Brazil / North Carolina Courage)
Jessie Fleming (Canada / Chelsea FC Women)
Ada Hegerberg (Norway / Olympique Lyonnais)
Sam Kerr (Australia / Chelsea FC Women)
Beth Mead (England / Arsenal WFC)
Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands / Arsenal WFC)
Alex Morgan (USA / Orlando Pride / San Diego Wave)
Lena Oberdorf (Germany / VfL Wolfsburg)
Alexandra Popp (Germany / VfL Wolfsburg)
Alexia Putellas (Spain / FC Barcelona)
Wendie Renard (France / Olympique Lyonnais)
Keira Walsh (England / Manchester City WFC / FC Barcelona)
Leah Williamson (England / Arsenal WFC)
The Best FIFA Men’s Player:
Julian Alvarez (Argentina / River Plate / Manchester City FC)
Jude Bellingham (England / BV Borussia 09 Dortmund)
Karim Benzema (France / Real Madrid CF)
Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium / Manchester City FC)
Erling Haaland (Norway / BV Borussia 09 Dortmund / Manchester City FC)
Achraf Hakimi (Morocco / Paris Saint-Germain)
Robert Lewandowski (Poland / FC Bayern Munich/ FC Barcelona)
Sadio Mane (Senegal / Liverpool FC / FC Bayern Munich)
Kylian Mbappe (France / Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Argentina / Paris Saint-Germain)
Luka Modric (Croatia / Real Madrid CF)
Neymar (Brazil / Paris Saint-Germain)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt / Liverpool FC)
Vinicius Junior (Brazil / Real Madrid CF)
The Best FIFA Women’s Coach:
Sonia Bompastor (France / Olympique Lyonnais)
Emma Hayes (England / Chelsea FC Women)
Bev Priestman (England / Canadian National Team)
Pia Sundhage (Sweden / Brazilian National Team)
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (Germany / German National Team)
Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands / English National Team)
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach:
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy / Real Madrid CF)
Didier Deschamps (France / French National Team)
Pep Guardiola (Spain / Manchester City FC)
Walid Regragui (Morocco / Wydad AC / Moroccan National Team)
Lionel Scaloni (Argentina / Argentinian National Team)
The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper:
Ann-Katrin Berger (Germany / Chelsea FC Women)
Mary Earps (England / Manchester United WFC)
Christiane Endler (Chile / Olympique Lyonnais)
Merle Frohms (Germany / Eintracht Frankfurt / VfL Wolfsburg)
Alyssa Naeher (USA / Chicago Red Stars)
Sandra Panos Garcia-Villamil (Spain / FC Barcelona)
The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper:
Álisson Becker (Brazil / Liverpool FC)
Yassine Bounou (Morocco / Sevilla FC)
Thibaut Courtois (Belgium / Real Madrid CF)
Ederson (Brazil / Manchester City FC)
Emiliano Martinez (Argentina / Aston Villa FC)