Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi on best player shortlist

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PARIS: Neymar was named alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the three-man shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Player Award, which was announced in London on Friday (Saturday in Manila).

Brazil superstar Neymar, 25, won the Copa del Rey with Barcelona last season before joining Paris Saint-Germain in a blockbuster 222 million euros ($266 million) move that smashed the world transfer record.

Ronaldo, 32, is the overwhelming favourite to win the award, having led Real Madrid to the La Liga title and a third Champions League success in four years last season.

He won last year’s award after winning the Champions League with Madrid and the European Championship with Portugal.


(Left to right) Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi, Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian striker Neymar. AFP PHOTOS

Ronaldo previously won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2008 and is a four-time winner of the Ballon d’Or.

Messi, 30, scored 54 goals last season as Barcelona won the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup.

The Argentina great, a record five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, has made a superb start to the current campaign, scoring 12 goals in his first eight appearances in all competitions.

Ronaldo won the inaugural Best FIFA Men’s Player Award last year after a six-year merger between the FIFA honour and the Ballon d’Or.

The shortlist for the Best FIFA Women’s Player award comprises Venezeula’s Deyna Castellanos, Carli Lloyd of the United States and Dutch player Lieke Martens.

Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane goes head to head with Chelsea’s Antonio Conte and Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri for the top coach award.

Veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is shortlisted for the Best FIFA Goalkeeper prize alongside Keylor Navas of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer.

The winner of the 2017 awards will be announced during a ceremony at the London Palladium on October 23.

The voting for the award, equally weighted between national team captains, national team coaches, media and fans, closed earlier this month.

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Injured Neymar to miss first game

PARIS: Neymar will miss Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 game at Montpellier on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) after the world’s most expensive player injured his right foot, French media report.

The Brazilian striker has made an immediate impact at his new club with four goals and four assists from his first five outings since moving to the French capital from Barcelona.

According to Radio RMC on Friday, the injury does not throw into doubt Neymar’s participation in Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich.

Neymar posted a photo of his injured right foot on Snapchat.

His absence in Montpellier will mean no repeat of last weekend’s ‘penaltygate’ incident with fellow PSG striker Edinson Cavani.

The South American pair fell out over who should take a spot kick in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Lyon.

That left PSG atop Ligue 1 on 18 points, three clear of defending champions Monaco.

AFP

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