Superstar footballers who played at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar may have swayed their fate with regards to the upcoming FIFA Football Awards, the football governing body said.
The awards, scheduled for January, will honour footballers from around the world under various categories, including The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper, The Best FIFA Men’s Coach and even a FIFA Fan Award.
However, performance at Qatar 2022, in which unpredictable results were put on display for the world to see, has likely boosted the chances of some candidates who contributed significantly to their teams’ performances.
“Players and coaches have made their presence known at this World Cup,” FIFA said, suggesting that football’s most important competition may have affected the winners of its most prestigious honours, in a report issued on Sunday.
Going head to head at the final, Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Frenchman Kylian Mbappe have undoubtedly improved their reputations the most during the biggest global event.
The final was not just Argentina versus France, rather it was an intense battle played between Messi and Mbappe, with both elevating right-fully so to the occasion, the report claimed.
“It would be a bold prediction to say neither will win the award.”
However, FIFA also pointed to Luka Modric, captain of the Croatian national team, who not only won his third La Liga title and fifth Champions League crown, but also took home a bronze medal for his efforts on the international scene, the report explained.
For ‘The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper’ award, Croatia’s Dominik Livakovic and Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez displayed their best performances during this year’s World Cup, with both their names likely being thrown in the hat for a chance to win the prize.
Other such notable goalkeepers, include Germany’s Manuel Neuer, who won The Best in 2020 and Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois, who was bestowed with the UEFA Champions League award in 2018 FA Cup.
Brazil’s Alisson Baker, the Champions League and Premier League runner-up winner in 2019 as well as France’s Hugo Lloris, were also spotlighted for their performance at the tournament in Qatar.
However, among the biggest changes to this year’s awards is the naming of Morocco’s Yassine Bounou as a contender for the goalie award. The Atlas Lions made history at this year’s World Cup by becoming the first African and Arab team to reach as far as the semi-finals.
As for best FIFA men coaches award, Lionel Scaloni and the creation of his World Cup-winning Scaloneta have undoubtedly put the Argentine into the competition.
“Carlo Ancelotti, fresh off the back of an indomitable year with Real Madrid, is perhaps the leading club candidate standing in their way,” FIFA said.
Walid Regragui’s achievements with Morocco should not be overlooked, the report claimed. The Atlas Lions bowed out in fourth place after a historic run at Qatar 2022.
Morocco’s 2022 World Cup performance in specific witnessed the onslaught of mass support and unity, inspiring football fans around the African, Arab and Muslim world.