Kevin De Bruyne shortlisted for FIFA's Best Men's Player award
Belgian footballer Kevin De Bruyne is among the fourteen shortlisted for The Best Men's Player 2022 award at the annual Best FIFA Football Awards. The International Association Football Federation announced its nominees on Thursday.
De Bruyne (Manchester City) is facing competition from Argentine world champions Lionel Messi (PSG) and Julian Alvarez (Manchester City). France will be represented by Kylian Mbappé (PSG) and Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Brazil by Neymar (PSG) and Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid). Also on the shortlist are Englishman Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Norwegian Erling Haaland (Manchester City), Moroccan Achraf Hakimi (PSG), Pole Robert Lewandowski (FC Barcelona), Senegalese Sadio Mané (Bayern Munich), Croatian Luka Modric (Real Madrid) and Egyptian Mo Salah (Liverpool).
Last year, De Bruyne became the first Belgian to finish ninth in the competition for the Best Men's Player title. He ranked third in the Ballon d'Or competition in October. Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid) is not among the Best Men's Player nominees, nor is Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently transferred to Saudi Al-Nassr. In the past two years, Robert Lewandowski was awarded Best Men's Player title.
Courtois did get included in the list of nominees for Best Men's Goalkeeper of the Year. Brazilians Alisson Becker (Liverpool) and Ederson (Manchester City), Moroccan Yassine Bounou (Sevilla) and Argentine Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa) are his competitors. Last year, the award went to Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (Chelsea).
FIFA also announced its Women's player of the year nominees on Thursday. Spain's Alexia Putellas (FC Barcelona) won that title last year and is nominated again this year. In addition, the shortlists for Best Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year, Best Women’s and Men's Coaches of the Year and the Puskas Award were made public.
The jury is made up of the national teams' coaches and captains, one journalist per country and supporters on FIFA.com. Supporters can vote for their favourite player from Thursday until February 3. The award ceremony will take place on February 27.
Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group match between Croatia and Belgium on December 1, 2022 © OZAN KOSE / AFP