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Ballon d’Or frontrunners Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Erling Haaland look set to continue their battle for another football accolade after being shortlisted for the FIFA Best Men’s Player Award.
The players were among a 10-man shortlist revealed by FIFA on Thursday.
The FIFA Best Awards are decided by a voting system for a shortlisted selection, which is determined by a panel of football experts, including past players and football journalists.
Messi, Mbappe, and Haaland, who are widely favoured to be named among the top three candidates for the Ballon d’Or, will undoubtedly carry over similar expectations for the “Best Player” award.
Messi is the reigning holder of both accolades. Perennial rival Cristiano Ronaldo was the most noticeable absentee from the shortlist.
Ronaldo, who recently declared his competitive rivalry with Messi concluded, had previously failed to make the cut for the Ballon d’Or for the first time since 2005.