Cristiano Ronaldo could claim a record sixth Fifa men’s player of the year prize after Lionel Messi was omitted from the shortlist for the first time since 2006.
Ronaldo and Messi have both won the prize five times, but the Barcelona and Argentina forward was overlooked on this occasion, with Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah in contention.
Barcelona and Argentina forward Messi had featured in the top three for 11 straight years. He was runner-up in 2007 and 2008 before winning the title for the first of five years in 2009.
The shortlists were announced by football’s world governing body on Monday and the award ceremony is scheduled to take place on September 24 at Royal Festival Hall in London.
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.