Zurich [Switzerland], December 18 (ANI): Barcelona's Lionel Messi named Paris Saint-Germain duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe and Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski as his three picks for The Best FIFA Men's Player award, overlooking his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo. Interestingly, the Portuguese did name Messi, putting the Argentine on his second preference for the award.
Messi placed Neymar as his first choice for the accolade and put Mbappe and Lewandowski on the second and third spot respectively. Ronaldo named Lewandowski, Messi and Mbappe as his choices, in the same order, for the prize.
On December 11, FIFA had announced Lewandowski, Messi and Ronaldo as the three finalists for the award and during the virtual event at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on Thursday, Bayern Munich's striker outclassed his competitors to claim The Best FIFA Men's Player award for the first time in his career.
The eventual winner for the award, Lewandowski, had voted for Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara, Neymar, and Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne. Whereas, India skipper Sunil Chhetri had voted for Lewandowski, De Bruyne, and Liverpool's Sadio Mane, in the same order.
Lewandowski's Bayern Munich teammate Manuel Neuer was chosen as The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper, while Jurgen Klopp claimed The Best FIFA Men's Coach Award for the second consecutive year, having steered Liverpool FC to the English Premier League title for the first time, 30 years after their last top-flight success.
After winning the award, Lewandowski said: "This really is something -- Messi and Ronaldo have been playing at the highest level for years and now I'm rubbing shoulders with them. This means that all the hard work has paid off. I wouldn't have achieved this without the team -- they're the ones who create the situations for me. It'll take a while to absorb what I've achieved and I think I'll struggle to get to sleep tonight. But I'm really happy. We're all proud because it's an award that recognises the whole team." (ANI)