Sam Kerr's brutal snub sparks uproar as finalists announced for 'FIFA Best' awards

The Matildas captain was overlooked as the final three players were revealed for the top FIFA award.

Sam Kerr in action for the Matildas at the Women's World Cup.
Sam Kerr had a brilliant year for club and country. Image: Getty

Sam Kerr has missed out on being named in the final three players in contention to win the FIFA Best women's player of the year award in a baffling snub. The Matildas star, who finished second in voting for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award in October, was included on the original 16-player long list for the FIFA Best gong.

But when the three finalists were revealed on Thursday she was nowhere to be seen. Spaniards Aitana Bonmati and Jenni Hermoso, and young Colombian Linda Caicedo, are the three nominees.

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Bonmati has swept a number of major awards this year, including beating Kerr to win the Ballon d'Or. Hermoso is the player who had to endure the infamous unwanted kiss from an official after the Women's World Cup final in Sydney that sent shockwaves throughout the football world.

Kerr had a brilliant year for club and country, helping Chelsea complete the FA Cup and Women's Super League double. She also overcame injury woes to help the Matildas make the semi-finals of the World Cup in a historic achievement for an Aussie team.

But the the 30-year-old superstar, who finished third in the voting for the same award in 2021, has missed out again. That's despite the fact she's finished in the top-three in the last three editions of the Ballon d'Or.

Sam Kerr, pictured here in action for Chelsea in the Champions League.
Sam Kerr in action for Chelsea in the Champions League. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Football fans left fuming over brutal snub of Sam Kerr

And the snubs don't stop there. Kerr's wonder-goal in the semi-final against England didn't even make the top-three in contention to win the women's Puskas Award as Best Goal. Julio Encisco of Brighton, Novorizontino's Guilherme Madruga and Sporting's Nuno Santos got the nod instead.

With Kerr's snub, it means the only Australian up for an award in January will be Mackenzie Arnold. The Matildas shot-stopper is in the final three for the Best Women's Goalkeeper award. Kerr's Matildas teammates Mary Fowler and Caitlin Foord had been included on the 16-player long-list, but didn't make the final three.

One fan wrote on social media: "How is Sam Kerr not in this list? What a joke. How do you finish second in the Ballon D’or and yet not make the top three here?! Caicedo should not be in this list, not yet."

Another fan wrote about Caicedo's inclusion: "WTF? Is this a joke? She scored goals? That's the criteria here? How many trophies did those goals lead to? In any case Samantha Kerr and Salma Paralluelo got her beat in that department. This makes no sense, but then again it's not unexpected. Shame on you for being so obvious."

Messi, Haaland and Mbappe in the running for men's award

For the men's FIFA Best award, reigning champion and serial winner LioneI Messi will line up against Manchester City's goal machine Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe. The same three men who featured as the 2022 finalists will again battle for the 2023 prize. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London in January.

Messi won the gong last year after his World Cup heroics for Argentina, but it's thought that Haaland's standout season could get him the top prize this time. Haaland led Manchester City to the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup treble. Messi and Mbappe won the French league with PSG, before Messi joined Inter Miami in America and sparked a new wave of interest for Major League Soccer when he starred in their Leagues Cup victory.

with AAP

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