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REVEALED: Why wasn’t Cristiano Ronaldo nominated for the Best FIFA Football Awards

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The finalists for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award are Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé, and Erling Haaland, despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s impressive goalscoring performances with Al Nassr.

As the Best FIFA Football Awards draw near, Lionel Messi from Inter Miami, Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé have emerged as the top contenders for the prestigious award.

Interestingly, Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished 2023 as the leading goalscorer globally, has been excluded from the final shortlist for the third consecutive year.

How many times has Ronaldo won Best FIFA Men’s Player?

Despite winning the first two Best FIFA Men’s Player awards in 2016 and 2017, Cristiano Ronaldo has been omitted from the final shortlist for the third consecutive year. Notably, he wasn’t even among the initial nominees for the second year in a row.

At 38, Ronaldo joins Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski and Messi as one of three players to have won the award twice.

Messi now has the opportunity to surpass them and become the most decorated men’s player in the history of the Best FIFA Football Awards.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible 2023

Ronaldo has been snubbed despite performing superbly in 2023 for Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr, with his move away from elite-level soccer presumably the reason for his omission rather than his on-field achievements. The former Real Madrid attacker outscored everyone else in world soccer with 54 goals, two more than Mbappé and four better than Haaland, who won the Premier League-Champions League-FA Cup treble with City.

The Portugal captain picked up silverware of his own, however, leading Al Nassr to their first ever Arab Club Champions Cup victory by scoring two decisive goals in the final against Saudi Arabian rivals Al Hilal, who signed Neymar days after the match.

On a personal level, that was Ronaldo’s first trophy since 19 May 2021, when he won the Coppa Italia towards the end of his time with Juventus and before moving back to Manchester United.

FIFA doesn’t recognise Arab Club Champions Cup as major competition

Despite his outstanding performances for Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League in 2023, Cristiano Ronaldo has been overlooked for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award, likely due to his move away from top-tier European soccer rather than his on-field achievements.

Ronaldo finished the season as the top goalscorer in world soccer with 54 goals, surpassing both Mbappé (52 goals) and Haaland (50 goals), who won the treble with Manchester City.

Ronaldo’s stint with Al Nassr also saw him lead the team to their first-ever Arab Club Champions Cup victory, where he played a pivotal role by scoring two crucial goals in the final against Al Hilal. This triumph marked Ronaldo’s first trophy since winning the Coppa Italia with Juventus in May 2021 before his return to Manchester United.

It’s worth noting that FIFA does not officially recognize the Arab Club Champions Cup as a major competition. However, Ronaldo remains a contender for a spot in the FIFPro Men’s World 11 for 2023 and was honored by FIFA in 2022 for becoming the all-time top goalscorer in men’s international soccer.

For the Best FIFA Men’s Player Award, performances between December 19, 2022 (the day after the 2022 World Cup final), and August 20, 2023, were considered. AS USA will provide live-text commentary of the ceremony to keep fans updated on all the action.

Champions League

Xavi fires back at Enrique for claiming PSG would’ve won without red card

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Xavi fires back at Enrique for claiming PSG would've won without red card

“Luis Enrique said that even without the red card PSG would have won anyway and he hopes you will be the coach of Barca for many years, what do you say?” Xavi was asked.

The Barca boss replied in a fiery tone, “I say NO to both.”

Xavi’s disagreement with Enrique’s celebration of PSG’s victory may indicate his dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs at Barcelona, potentially hinting at a departure this summer.

Enrique’s exuberant reaction to PSG’s win, followed by comments boasting about his team’s superiority, contrasts with Xavi’s perspective and may suggest a difference in their visions for the club.

Despite PSG’s convincing win, it’s important to remember that Barcelona had a strong start in the match, leading by two goals at one point.

However, a pivotal moment came when Ronald Araujo’s decision to foul Bradley Barcola shifted the momentum in PSG’s favor, leading to their eventual victory.

PSG’s upcoming semi-final against Dortmund will be an intriguing matchup. During the group stage, Dortmund was unable to defeat PSG, indicating that the upcoming clash could be another challenging encounter for the German team.

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EPL

Palmer overtakes three-season Havertz stat at Chelsea

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Palmer overtakes three-season Havertz stat at Chelsea

Cole Palmer’s remarkable four-goal performance against Everton on Monday evening has propelled him to the top of the Premier League golden boot race.

With 20 goals to his name this season, he is now neck and neck with Erling Haaland in the race for the prestigious award.

His scoring spree also highlights his incredible impact at Chelsea, as he has now scored more league goals in his first seven months at the club than Kai Havertz managed in three seasons, tallying 19 goals.

Palmer’s outstanding form has been instrumental in Chelsea’s climb up the Premier League table, bringing them within just three points of sixth place.

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Champions League

‘He’s had 48 hours’ – Arsenal boss shares update on Bukayo Saka after furious penalty demand

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'He's had 48 hours' - Arsenal boss shares update on Bukayo Saka after furious penalty demand

Bukayo Saka expressed frustration at not being awarded a penalty after a clash with Manuel Neuer during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

He confronted the referee at full-time and even followed him down the tunnel, a departure from Saka’s typically composed demeanor.

When questioned about Saka’s condition before the upcoming match against Aston Villa on Sunday, Mikel Arteta stated, “Yes, he looked fine this morning.”

“He’s had 48 hours to think about it and it’s done.”

Arteta chose not to address the incident after the game, but there was a general consensus that Saka’s contact with Neuer was minimal.

Saka faced criticism for his reaction, but given the high emotions of the game, such reactions were not uncommon.

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