Similar to the World Cup final, Paris Saint-Germain partners Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe will face off for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award for 2022 on Monday. Karim Benzema, the winner of the Ballon d’Or, will be the third candidate.
After guiding Argentina to victory over Mbappe’s France in that thrilling match in Qatar, Messi seems to be the favorite to win another individual award at the ceremony in Paris.
Messi has earned the Ballon d’Or seven times and the FIFA award once (it was established in 2016 after FIFA’s breakup with the Ballon d’Or organizers, France Football).
Messi finished second to Robert Lewandowski in each of the last two championships, but the 35-year-career-crowning old’s World Cup victory was the pivotal event of 2022.
Fans can cast their votes, but the winner is chosen by a jury that includes the head coach and captain of each men’s national squad as well as one journalist from each nation.
Mbappe tied the score at 3-3 after additional time despite Messi scoring twice, becoming the first player since Geoff Hurst in 1966 to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. However, France ultimately lost in a shootout.
The tournament’s leading scorer was Mbappe, who turned 24 shortly after the final and had one more goal than Messi, who won the Golden Ball award for the finest player, with eight goals.
Despite Messi joining him at PSG, he was easily the team’s most crucial player in the year building up to the World Cup. He was also the top scorer in Ligue 1 and the player of the year for France.
Their World Cup triumphs, however, take center stage.