Leicester’s trio take on Messi, Ronaldo
ZURICH, Switzerland (AP): THREE LEICESTER players will try to end the eight-year grip of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the FIFA Player of the Year award.
Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante were named yesterday alongside Messi and Ronaldo in the 23man list of contenders. Kante has moved to Chelsea since Leicester won the Premier League title in May.
Messi won his fifth FIFA award last season and Ronaldo has won it three times.
Ronaldo is the likely favourite for 2016 as a double European champion: Portugal won their first European Championship and Real Madrid won a record 11th European Cup title in last season’s Champions League.
All 23 nominees play for clubs in Europe.
Voting will be held by national team captains and coaches, selected media members and an online fan poll. Each section will count for 25 per cent of the final tally.
FIFA will announce the three-man shortlist on December 2. The rebranded Best FIFA Awards ceremony will be held on January 9 in Zurich.
Candidates: Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales, Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City), Antoine Griezmann (France, Atletico Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Paris SaintGermain/Manchester United), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), N’Golo Kante (France, Leicester/Chelsea), Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Bayern Munich), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria, Leicester), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil, Barcelona), Mesut Ozil (Germany, Arsenal), Dimitri Payet (France, West Ham), Paul Pogba (France, Juventus/Manchester United), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Chile, Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Barcelona), Jamie Vardy (England, Leicester).