FIFA fume at ‘leak’ for The Best winner with Messi and Mbappe in the running

FIFA have been left fuming after the winner of their The Best award was "leaked" ahead of Monday night's ceremony.

Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema make up the three-man final shortlist for the award, with the winner set to be announced at a star-studded show in Paris. A host of other awards will also be handed out, included The Best women's player and the Puskas Award for the best goal scored in 2022.

However, hours before the start of the event, the winner of The Best men's player has allegedly been leaked online to the anger of FIFA officials.

READ MORE: Lionel Messi chased by stewards with riot shields after scoring 700th club goal

According to Mundo Deportivo's Francesc Aguilar, Messi is set to be announced as the winner after inspiring Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner previously won the award back in 2019.

Aguilar wrote on Twitter: "Lionel Messi is The Best. On Monday, FIFA will remind L'Equipe and France Football that they did not include Leo among the candidates for the Ballon d'Or. To make matters worse, FIFA will hold The Best gala in… Paris."

Messi was controversially left off of the 30-man shortlist to win the 2022 Ballon d'Or after a difficult first season in France with Paris Saint-Germain before his talismanic performances at the World Cup.

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The 35-year-old playmaker scored in all but one of his country's seven matches at the tournament as he scored seven goals and provided three assists, including a brace in the final against France.

His performances saw him pick up the Golden Ball at the end of the tournament and he has also been in fine form for PSG either side of the World Cup.

In 28 matches across all competitions, Messi has already scored 17 goals and added 16 assists to surpass his tally of goal contributions for the entirety of last season.

Those statistics include two assists for Mbappe either side of a goal of his own in Sunday's 3-0 away win over Marseille in Le Classique to extend PSG's lead at the top of Ligue 1 to eight points.


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