FIFA selects the best footballer in the world. After the World Cup victory with Argentina's national team, Lionel Messi is of course the favorite for the award on Monday evening (9 p.m. / Sky) in the Salle Pleyel concert hall in Paris. With one exception, German football is only a spectator.
There can only be one. After the World Cup triumph in Lusail's golden final stadium on December 18, Lionel Messi is a logical contender for the FIFA Silver Cup as the best footballer of the year 2022. As in the final, French PSG colleague Kylian Mbappé will probably have to settle for second place. Anything else would be a big surprise.
Third among the nominees is Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, who missed the World Cup injured but propelled Los Blancos to Champions League victory in the first half of the year. After all, this earned him the Ballon d'Or, which is awarded by the specialist magazine "France Football", even before the World Cup.
Not even a German coach made it into the top three. Jürgen Klopp (2019 and 2020) and Thomas Tuchel (2021) had recently won here. But the World Cup disaster did not allow for any other expectations. When it comes to the highest merits, the German footballers are just extras. The only exception: Ann-Kathrin Berger. The 32-year-old goalkeeper from Chelsea made it into the field of three finalists.
This is a symbolic gesture. As a guest of FIFA, Ali Daei is said to be present at the gala on Monday evening. Until Sunday it was still unclear whether the former striker of FC Bayern Munich and Hertha BSC could make his way to Paris.
The 53-year-old was recently not allowed to leave the country after his comments on the repressive government course in Iran. Daei and his family were pressured. That Daei will sit among the current heroes of world football in Paris is a signal that FIFA President Gianni Infantino really likes.