Messi and Ronaldo finalists for FIFA best player award and so is Carli Lloyd
The award will be handed out on Jan. 9
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were named to the shortlist for the FIFA Best Men's Player Award while USA superstar Carli Lloyd is a finalist on the women's side, FIFA announced on Friday.
On the men's side, Messi and Ronaldo are joined by Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann.
On the women's side, the USWNT star is joined by Marta of Brazil and Melanie Behringer of Germany.
The award name may be confusing to some, as the award given out the previous six years was the Ballon d'Or, but it now reverts to the original award. The Ballon d'Or was a merger between the FIFA World Player of the Year award and France Football's Ballon d'Or, but that ended with the 2015 edition.
The expectation is for Cristiano Ronaldo to win the men's award after his remarkable 2016, winning Euro 2016 with Portugal and the Champions League with Real Madrid. Ronaldo had 51 goals in 48 games for Real Madrid last season. Messi had 41, winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey with his club, losing the Copa America final with Argentina. As for Griezmann, he scored 32 goals in 54 games and lost in the final of the UCL with Atletico, also losing the Euro 2016 final with France.
For the women -- Behringer led Germany to gold at the Summer Olympics and is looked at as the favorite. She was the top scorer at the tournament with five goals. Lloyd had 17 goals last year but may fall just short after the U.S. was shocked in the quarters of the Olympics by Sweden. Marta has long been one of the best players in the world and has won World Player of the Year five times and had another fine year for Brazil despite the team finishing fourth at the Olympics.
The award will be announced on Jan. 9, and the winner is selected by fan and media voting.
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