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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi set for another duel

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LONDON: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will again be dueling for the title of world’s best footballer after their names once again headed the shortlist on Thursday for The Best FIFA Men’s Player.

The pair, who have dominated the global award in its varied forms for a decade, will be favourites to collect yet another accolade amid the 24-strong list of the world’s best.

Ronaldo enjoyed another remarkable season in which he inspired Real Madrid to a La Liga/Champions League double while Messi topped him in the Spanish goalscoring charts for Barcelona while going past a career landmark of 500 goals for the club.

Carli Lloyd, the U.S. World Cup winner and two-time Olympic champion, was the inaugural winner and again makes the list of 10 in contention to be “Best FIFA” woman player.

Zinedine Zidane, who guided Real Madrid’s landmark season, with seven of their players in the men’s shortlist, is recognised in his nomination as best men’s coach.

The awards are a revival of the old FIFA World Player of the Year, which had been combined with France Football magazine’s Ballon d’Or for six years before the collaboration ended last year. Ronaldo won the inugural “best” trophy.

They are voted for by national coaches and captains, selected media and fans, with the winners to be announced at a ceremony in London on October 23.

The shortlists

The best men’s player: Pierre Aubameyang (Gabon, Borussia Dortmund), Leonardo Bonucci (Italy, AC Milan), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), Daniel Carvajal (Spain, Real Madrid), Paulo Dybala (Argentina, Juventus), Antoine Griezmann (France, Atletico Madrid), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Manchester United), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Harry Kane (England, Tottenham Hotspur), N’Golo Kante (France, Chelsea), Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica, Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil, Paris St Germain), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Chile, Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Barcelona), Arturo Vidal (Chile, Bayern Munich)

The best women’s player

Lucy Bronze (England, Manchester City), Deyna Castellanos (Venezuela, Santa Clarita Blue Heat), Pernille Harder (Denmark, Wolfsburg), Sam Kerr (Australia, Sky Blue), Carli Lloyd (USA, Houston Dash/Manchester City), Dzsenifer Marozsan (Germany, Lyon), Lieke Martens (Netherlands, Barcelona), Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands, Bayern Munich), Wendie Renard (France, Lyon), Jodie Taylor (England, Arsenal)

The best men’s coach: Massimiliano Allegri (Italy, coach of Juventus), Carlo Ancelotti (Italy, Bayern Munich), Antonio Conte (Italy, Chelsea), Luis Enrique (Spain, Barcelona), Pep Guardiola (Spain, Manchester City), Leonardo Jardim (Portugal, Monaco), Joachim Loew (Germany, German national team), Jose Mourinho (Portugal, Manchester United), Mauricio Pochettino (Argentina, Tottenham Hotspur), Diego Simeone (Argentina, Atletico Madrid), Tite (Brazil, Brazilian national team), Zinedine Zidane (France, Real Madrid)

The best women’s coach

Olivier Echouafni (France, French national team), Emma Hayes (England, Chelsea), Ralf Kellermann (Germany, Wolfsburg), Xavi Llorens (Spain, Barcelona), Nils Nielsen (Denmark, Danish national team), Florence Omagbemi (Nigeria, Nigerian national team), Gerard Precheur (France, Lyon), Dominik Thalhammer (Austria, Austrian national team), Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands, Netherlands national team), Hwang Yong-Bong (North Korea, North Korean national and under-20 teams)

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