Ronaldo, Modric, Salah shortlisted — FIFA's best player

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Federation Internationale de Football Association has just released the shortlist of the 2018 men's player of the year award, nominating Cristiano Ronaldo alongside Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah. "I thought the squad was fantastic, the players are very good in all areas of the pitch and are capable to compete for titles".

Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi, who is a five-time Ballon d'Or victor, missed out on a place in the top three.

On Ronaldo's departure, Lopetegui added: "I did not speak to him, it was a situation where he had already made a decision to leave and the club went along with this for a player who had been tremendous".

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Thirty-one of those goals were scored in the Premier League and Ronaldo deservedly picked up the Premier League Player of the Season award as a result.

Messi admitted that he was "surprised" at the move and believes that Madrid will be weaker for losing his fellow five-time Ballon d'Or victor.

Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has dismissed claims from Leo Messi this week.

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Benjamin Pavard's goal against Argentina, which was named goal of the World Cup, is on the list, as is Russia's Dennis Cheryshev scoring against Croatia. To put into perspective how long ago that was, the top three that year were Fabio Cannavaro, Zinedine Zidane, and Ronaldinho.

"Barca fans always want players with good feet".

The women's player of the year award will be contested between Olympique Lyonnais duo Ada Hegerberg of Norway and Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany, who enjoyed an unbeaten league season and lifted the Women's Champions League, and Brazil's triumphant Copa America Femenina captain Marta.

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"Luka deserves it because he was voted the best player at the Club World Cup, was world and European champion with Real, won a silver medal at the World Cup and the World Cup Golden Ball on top of that".

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