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Dublin: 7°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

Who should be crowned the world's best footballer at the Fifa Awards ceremony tonight?

Cristiano Ronaldo is favourite to beat Lionel Messi and Neymar to the prize.

The three nominees -- Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar.
The three nominees -- Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar.
Image: Press Association

CRISTIANO RONALDO’S STUNNING exploits with Real Madrid make him the strong favourite to win the 2017 Best Fifa Men’s Player Award at this evening’s ceremony in London.

The Portuguese superstar, who won last year’s inaugural award, fired Madrid to glory in La Liga and scored 12 goals as they won the Champions League for the third time in four seasons.

He is nominated alongside his eternal rival Lionel Messi and Messi’s former Barcelona team-mate Neymar, now of Paris Saint-Germain.

Should Ronaldo prevail, it will pave the way for him to match Messi’s record of five Ballons d’Or when France Football magazine announce the winner of that award early next year.

Ronaldo, 32, won the inaugural Best Fifa Men’s Player Award last year after a six-year merger between the Fifa honour and the Ballon d’Or.

Ronaldo previously won the Fifa World Player of the Year award, the precursor to the Best Fifa award, in 2008.

Messi, 30, scored 54 goals last season as Barcelona won the Copa del Rey.

The Argentina great has made a superb start to the current campaign, scoring 15 goals for Barcelona and earning his country a place at next year’s World Cup with a magical hat-trick against Ecuador.

Brazil star Neymar, 25, won the Copa del Rey with Barcelona last season before joining PSG in a blockbuster 222 million euros ($262 million) deal that obliterated the world transfer record.

The voting for the award, equally weighted between national team captains, national team coaches, media and fans, closed last month.

So, who do you think should win the award?

Poll Results:

Cristiano Ronaldo (2161)
Lionel Messi (1534)
Neymar Jr (163)

Elsewhere, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is expected to be named Best Fifa Men’s Coach after becoming the first man to mastermind a successful defence of the European Cup in the Champions League era.

The former France playmaker is up against Chelsea’s Antonio Conte and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is shortlisted for the Best FIFA Goalkeeper prize alongside Ronaldo’s Madrid team-mate Keylor Navas and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer.

The shortlist for the Best Fifa Women’s Player award comprises Venezuelan teenager Deyna Castellanos — who doesn’t play in a professional league and is without a senior international cap — American midfielder Carli Lloyd and Dutch star Lieke Martens.

The winner of the Puskas Award for the best goal of 2017 will also be announced.

The favourites are Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud’s ‘scorpion kick’ volley against Crystal Palace and South African goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke’s remarkable overhead bicycle kick for Baroka against Orlando Pirates.

© AFP 2017 

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