Real Madrid lead the list of the 10 nominees for FIFA’s ‘The Best’ Men’s award for the 2017-18 season with three representatives, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Modric and Rafael Varane. Barcelona and Atlético have one nominee each, Lionel Messi and Antoine Greizmann, which make up the five LaLiga representatives on the list. The nation's league may be providing half of the nominees but for the first time in the award's albeit short history, no Spaniards are making the list. The two big capital clubs won Europe's two trophies and Barcelona had an almost unbeaten season en route to the double. And while there were several Spain internationals key to those feats, a disappointing World Cup may have impacted on their inclusion.
The Premier League has four representatives, Kevin De Bruyne (Man City), Harry Kane (Spurs), Mohamad Salah (Liverpool) and Eden Hazard (Chelsea), with the final nominee being provided by France’s Ligue 1, Kylian Mbappe (PSG). The big absence from the list, of course, is Neymar, who missed a large chunk of last season due to an injury and had a disappointing World Cup, for which he will mainly be remembered for his heavily-criticised overeactions to fouls against him.
How the voting system works
The judging period for the award is 3 July, 2017 to 15 July, 2018 (the day of the World Cup final), with both dates included.
Three finalists will be chosen from the 10 nominees, after a voting period held between 24 July and 10 August, in which journalists, fans, national team coaches and national team captains will participate. The four judging groups will have the same judging weight with 25 percent each. One of the top three players with the most votes will be chosen as the winner at the gala event in London on 24 September.