FIFA has announced that Barcelona star player, Lionel Messi, Juventus attacker Cristiano Ronaldo, and Bayern Munich hitman Robert Lewandowski are the three finalists The Best FIFA Men’s Player.
On November 25, a shortlist of 11 players was unveiled for the prize, with the Bayern striker leading the charge after a prolific campaign in which he led his club to a treble amid a flurry of goals.
Since then, however, Kevin De Bruyne, Sadio Mane, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Mohamed Salah, Thiago Alcantara and Virgil van Dijk have all dropped out of the running.
That leaves Lewandowski up against two former winners.
Ronaldo claimed the prize in both 2016 and 2017, when he dominated the voting after leading Real Madrid to successive Champions League trophies. Since then, however, he has completed a switch to Italy with Juventus, though he remains as prolific a scorer.
Messi, meanwhile, is the reigning holder of the prize but is widely regarded to have had a disappointing year by his standards amid a turbulent period for his Barcelona side.
Lewandowski previously told Ole that he is optimistic of winning the award but admits the competition is fierce.
“If you scored a lot of goals and won everything and were at the top, I don’t think there’s anyone I can compare myself to,” the Pole said.
“I just focus and think about the next challenge, and so on. If I win the award, of course I will be happy because I know everything I did, that it was for the team, and I know that it will be a decision of the fans and the journalists who vote.
“It would be a unique feeling. If I won The Best it would be something spectacular for me and an award for the whole team, because I know how well we played.
“What we did last season, for me, was incredible and I think we were the best. We are the best, there is no doubt. And we want to stay in that place.
“It’s always special to win a FIFA award, a dream. Personally, I know how hard I worked and pushed myself to have the year I had. If you love what you do, it is possible to get the prize.
“But I insist, winning it would be a prize for the whole team. Bayern had an unbeatable year.”
The winner will be announced on December 17