Sam Kerr nominated for 'FIFA Best' award

Sam Kerr has once again been recognised for her continuing excellence, nominated on the shortlist as the 'Best FIFA's Women's Player' of the year.

The Chelsea and Matildas striker heads a list of 14 star names with the sport's governing body also revealing the 'Best FIFA Men's Player' list on Thursday which has Lionel Messi as its outstanding favourite and Cristiano Ronaldo not included for the first time.

The Australian Kerr has been recognised after another stellar season for club and country, winning the FA Cup and Women's Super League double with Chelsea while also taking the Golden Boot as the leading scorer in England for a second straight season.

The 2022 Players' Player of the Year was also Australia's top scorer in the AFC Women's Asian Cup but she has formidable opposition in the quest for the big prize after finishing second in the same awards last year behind Alexia Putellas.

Kerr has also finished third in voting behind winner Putellas for the other major global award, the Ballon d'Or Feminin, over the last two years.

The Barcelona star Putellas is again on the list despite missing much of last year with injury.

She's alongside three of the England team who triumphed at the Women's Euros - top scorer Beth Mead, captain Leah Williamson and midfielder Keira Walsh - and Kerr's Canadian teammate at Chelsea, Jessie Fleming.

Messi also heads a list of 14, featuring 2022 Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema, two-time winner Robert Lewandowski, Paris St Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe and Manchester City scoring sensation Erling Haaland.

But it felt like an era was over as Ronaldo's name was conspicuous by its absence.

The Portuguese, released by Manchester United and benched by Portugal during the World Cup, won the FIFA award for the first two years back in 2016 and 2017 and was on the podium the following three years.

This time, though, while Messi looked sure to be rewarded for orchestrating Argentina's World Cup triumph, Ronaldo was not even selected as a contender by a FIFA-appointed panel.

The other Australian nominated in the 'FIFA Best' lists is Alou Kuol, elder brother of Newcastle wunderkind Garang, who's in line for the 'Puskas Award' for best goal of the calendar year.

The 21-year-old scored a stunning 'scorpion kick' effort for the Australia's Under 23 side against Iran's U23s and will have his effort judged against 10 other belters, including Mbappe's dazzling second in the World Cup final.

Award nominees:

Men: Julian Alvarez, Jude Bellingham, Karim Benzema, Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland, Achraf Hakimi, Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mane, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Luka Modric, Neymar, Mohamed Salah, Vinicius Junior

Women: Aitana Bonmati, Debinha, Jessie Fleming, Ada Hegerberg, Sam Kerr, Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema, Alex Morgan, Lena Oberdorf, Alexandra Popp, Alexia Putellas, Wendie Renard, Keira Walsh, Leah Williamson.