Best FIFA Men's Player Award: Lionel Messi snubbed; Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Luka Modric make the cut

FIFA officially revealed the finalists for this year's Men's Player Award, going to the best player in the world over the past year, and it won't be Lionel Messi. The Barcelona star did not make the top three cut, as Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah among the three selected. 

It's quite a surprise to see Messi miss the top three. Ronaldo made it after Champions League glory with Real Madrid, scoring 15 goals in the cup, while Luka Modric was his teammate with Real and also guided Croatia to the World Cup final. Modric was named UEFA Player of the Year on Thursday and won the Golden Ball at the World Cup.

Salah had 44 goals last season and set a Premier League record with 32 goals, but Liverpool didn't win a trophy, finishing second to Real Madrid in the Champions League final. Meanwhile, Messi notched 35 goals, won the Spanish league and the Copa del Rey titles. 

But four couldn't make it, so Messi is out. There's no question Modric deserved to make it, and Ronaldo as well. And Salah's monster year in England was enough to get him into the top three. Others who warranted potentially being on the list were Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, the two stars of the France national team that won the World Cup this past summer. 

The award will be handed out on Sept. 24. 

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Full Bio

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