The days of Lionel Messi at the top of world football may be coming to an end as he missed out on a nomination for a top individual gong.
Since 2008 the Argentinian has vied with Cristiano Ronaldo for the top individual awards in football, such has been his consistency as one of the finest footballers of all time.
Messi has been in scintillating form again over the past 12 months guiding Barcelona to La Liga and Copa del Rey glory although he was unable to save his country from a wretched World Cup campaign.
Indeed, it appears the team’s collective failure may cost the-31-year-old on an individual basis as he was not among the three nominees for Fifa’s ‘The Best’ awards.
Instead, rival Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah have all been nominated for the gong and it means that Messi misses out on a nomination for the first time since 2006.
Juventus ace Ronaldo is gunning for the award for a third consecutive occasion although many believe that Modric is the favourite for the award having been the linchpin in Croatia’s run to the World Cup final.
Another Croatian who may reap the rewards of the country’s success is manager Zlatko Dalic who is nominated for the top managerial award alongside Frenchmen Zinedine Zidane and Didier Deschamps.
Thibaut Courtois, Hugo Lloris, Kasper Schmeichel have all been nominated for the top goalkeeping award while Messi, Ronaldo and Salah are among the nominees for the Puskas award.
The winners will be crowned on September 24th in London after votes are collected from players, coaches, leading journalists and fans.