It's been more than three years since Lionel Messi won an individual prize such as the Ballon d'Or or The Best. However, he has won the last three European Golden Shoes, which is based on numbers, not individual opinions.
With the intention of correcting that trend, Messi travels to Milan on Monday with the hope of landing FIFA's The Best. Along with Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) and Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), he's among the three nominees for the prize which was won last year by Luka Modric, who's not even in the top 10 this year.
Messi won La Liga, the European Golden Shoe and came third at the Copa America last season, while Ronaldo also won the Italian league with Juve and the Nations Cup with Portugal. Van Dijk was a Champions League winner.
In addition, Messi is also nominated for the Puskas prize, which rewards the best goal of the season. Take your pick of Messi goals, but the one up for nomination is the one from the Champions League semifinal against Liverpool. Other goals include Juan Fernando Quintero's for River Plate and an effort by Dániel Zsóri.
Elsewhere, Marc-Andre ter Stegen is nominated in the best goalkeeper category and Frenkie de Jong could make the Best XI.
PEP, KLOPP & POCHETTINO
FIFA will also name the best coach from the past season, with all three coming from the Premier League: the candidates are the two Champions League finalists (Jürgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino) and the Premier League winner Pep Guardiola. Didier Deschamps won the prize last year.
RAPINOE THE FAVOURITE
In the women's category, United States winger Megan Rapinoe is the big favourite. The other nominees are her international teammate Alex Morgan and England's Lucy Bronze.
The nominees for best coach in the women's game are Jill Ellis (U.S), Phil Neville (England) and Sarina Wiegman (Holland).
Source: Sport / Javier Giraldo