Lionel Messi has not made the cut for the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Mo Salah and Luka Modric named as finalists.
The Barcelona talisman scored 44 goals last season and led his side to La Liga and Copa del Rey Glory.
He was eliminated with Argentina in the last 16 of the World Cup by eventual champions France and is not being considered as the best player on the planet for the first time in 11 years.
He was runner-up in the prize in 2007 and 2008 before winning the title for the first of five years in 2009.
Ronaldo, who won the award last year, is used to facing stiff competition from the diminutive striker but still has a battle on his hands to retain ‘The Best’ trophy.
Salah has been a revelation for Liverpool, scoring 43 goals in all competitions last season for the Reds and helping to fire Jurgen Kloop’s side to the Champions League final, where he was forced off after suffering a shoulder injury. He picked up the Premier League Player of the Season prize and is a major contender.
Real Madrid went on to defend their title in the European showpiece, and despite the fact that he didn’t score, Ronaldo lifted the trophy for a fifth time in his career.
The Portuguese has since moved to Juventus for £100m but will be competing with ex-team-mate Modric in the Best Male Player category.
The Croatian starred for his side on their unlikely run to the World Cup final this summer and was at the heart of Zinedine Zidane’s Real side.
Zidane himself is up for an award and has been nominated alongside France boss Didier Deschamps and Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic in the Best Men’s Coach final three.
The winners will be crowned on September 24 in London after votes are collected from players, coaches, journalists and supporters.
FULL LIST OF FIFA ‘THE BEST’ AWARDS FINALISTS:
Men’s Player Award – Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Mo Salah
Women’s Player Award – Ada Hegeberg, Dzsenifer Maroszan, Marta
FIFA Fan Award – Sebastian Carrera, Japan and Senegal supporters, Peru Supporters
Women’s Coach Award – Reynald Pedros, Asako Takakura, Sarina Wiegman
Men’s Coach Award – Zlatko Dalic, Zinedine Zidane, Didier Deschamps
Puskas Award – Gareth Bale, Denis Cheryshev, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Riley McGree, Lionel Messi, Benjamin Pavard, Ricardo Quaresma, Mo Salah
Goalkeeper Award – Thibaut Courtois, Hugo Lloris, Kasper Schmeichel.