Lewandowski, Benzema nominated for best FIFA award


LAUSANNE, Switzerland, November 23Robert Lewandowski is in the running to retain his FIFA Best Male Player award after being named to a shortlist of 11 players on Monday alongside Karim Benzema and Jorginho.

Perennial candidates Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the nominees, with Neymar, Mohamed Salah and Kylian Mbappe also competing for a prize awarded for the first time in 2017.

Erling Haaland, N’Golo Kante and Kevin De Bruyne round out the list of potential winners.

Four Barcelona players are on the list of best female players: Alexia Putellas, Jennifer Hermoso, Aitana Bonmati and Caroline Graham Hansen.

Chelsea, beaten by Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League final last season, also have four representatives with Sam Kerr, Ji So-yun, Magdalena Eriksson and Pernille Harder.

Lucy Bronze, who won the award last year, was nominated along with fellow England international Ellen White.

Canadian Olympic gold medalist Christine Sinclair is also in contention, as is Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius.

Thomas Tuchel is a favorite for top men’s manager after leading Chelsea to the Champions League title. He faces competition from Roberto Mancini, the mastermind of Italy’s triumph at Euro 2020.

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The other nominees are Hansi Flick, Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Diego Simeone and Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni.

The awards for the best male and female player, coach and goalkeeper are presented by the captains and coaches of all the world’s national teams, as well as by an online vote of fans and a select number of journalists.

The vote will take place from November 22 to December 10.

The three finalists in each category will be announced in early January, and the awards ceremony will be held virtually from FIFA headquarters in Zurich on January 17.

The Ballon d’Or award ceremony will take place in Paris on November 29.

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