Lionel Messi has been omitted from the shortlist for Fifa’s men’s player of the year award, which features Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah.
Barcelona and Argentina forward Messi had featured in the top three for 11 straight years. He was runner-up in the prize in 2007 and 2008 before winning the title for the first of five years in 2009.
Portugal and Juventus forward Ronaldo, like Messi, is a five-time winner, and has reached the top three alongside Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Modric and Salah, the Egypt and Liverpool forward.
Messi’s subsequent wins came in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015, while Ronaldo won the title in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
The award was first introduced as the FIFA world player of the year prize (1991-2009), before becoming the Ballon d’Or (2010-15) and subsequently part of FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards.
Ronaldo won a third successive Champions League title with Real Madrid in 2017-18, finishing as top scorer in the competition and had Modric as a team-mate.
Modric helped Croatia to the World Cup final, which France won, while Salah’s goals propelled Liverpool to the Champions League final, which Real won.