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Messi omitted from Fifa's player of the year shortlist for first time since 2006

Cristiano Ronaldo is in the running for a sixth Ballon d’Or, but faces competition from Luka Modric and Mo Salah.

Messi has failed to make the cut for the 2018 award.
Messi has failed to make the cut for the 2018 award.
Image: Tim Goode

CRISTIANO RONALDO WILL go head to head with former Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah as he seeks a sixth Fifa men’s world player of the year award.

But Lionel Messi — who has dominated the award along with Ronaldo over the past decade — has been omitted from the shortlist after featuring in the top three for 11 straight years.

Ronaldo, who like Messi is a five-time winner of the award, lifted a fourth Champions League title in five years before joining Italian champions Juventus in July.

France’s World Cup-winning manager Didier Deschamps, Zlatko Dalic and Zinedine Zidane were nominated as the finalists for Fifa’s coach of the year award.

Deschamps became just the third man to win the World Cup as a player and coach with victory over Dalic’s Croatia in Russia while Zidane led Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League win in May before stepping down. 

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