Even though most of the major leagues around the world just started their seasons a couple of months ago, awards season is fast approaching. At the beginning of every calendar year, FIFA hold an awards ceremony. Yes, they hold an awards ceremony during the middle of basically every big league’s season. Confused yet? It’s about to get worse.
In the past, FIFA have partnered with France Football to crown the best men’s player with the prestigious Ballon d’Or award. That partnership has since ended and now FIFA have their own brand new award called the Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 award. Got it? Me neither, but just go with it.
Our man N’Golo is one of 23 lucky players to be nominated by a panel of experts from the FIFA Football Committee. While the Frenchman doesn’t score many goals or set them up either, he was vital in Leicester’s title run and hasn’t missed much of a step since joining Chelsea in the summer.
It’s refreshing to see a defensive-minded player get recognized as a candidate for an award like this. The Ballon d’Or is notorious for only awarding attacking players. In fact, Kanté wasn’t even one of 30 nominees for this year’s award.
While you can probably expect the likes of Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and maybe even Luis Suarez to be the front-runners to take home the trophy, it’s nice to see Kanté get some respect for his fantastic ability and hard work.
The full list of nominees for the Best FIFA Men’s Player of 2016 are:
Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Juventus)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid)
Kevin De Bruyne(Belgium/Manchester City)
Antoine Griezmann (France/Atlético Madrid)
Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United)
Andrés Iniesta(Spain/FC Barcelona)
N’Golo Kanté (France/Leicester City/Chelsea)
Toni Kroos(Germany/Real Madrid)
Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich)
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria/Leicester City)
Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona)
Luka Modrić(Croatia/Real Madrid)
Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich)
Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona)
Mesut Özil (Germany/Arsenal)
Dimitri Payet (France/West Ham United)
Paul Pogba (France/Juventus/Manchester United)
Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid)
Alexis Sánchez (Chile/Arsenal)
Luis Suárez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona)
Jamie Vardy(England/Leicester City)