Matildas captain Sam Kerr is a shock omission from the final three nominees for the FIFA Best Women’s Player of 2022 award.
The Chelsea star was last month named among a 14-strong shortlist for the award.
However. the list has now been reduced to three players, and prolific striker Kerr isn’t one of the then.
Instead, Spain’s Alexia Putellas (Barcelona), England’s Beth Mead (Arsenal) and American Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/San Diego Wave) will battle it out of the award.
That’s despite Kerr – who was runner-up to Putellas for the award last year – having enjoyed a stellar 2022.
Her achievements included winning the English Women’s Super League Golden Boot for a second straight season, being named the English PFA’s players’ player of the year and claiming the WSL-FA Cup double with Chelsea.
Kerr’s good form has continued this year, with the former Perth Glory attacker having scored four goals for Chelsea on Friday morning (AEDT) in her side’s 7-0 League Cup semi-final thrashing of West Ham.
Following the win, she left England to return home to Australia to represent the Matildas in the four-team Cup of Nations tournament, which starts on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the final three nominees for the Best Men’s Player of 2022 award – French pair Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) and Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain), and Argentina’s Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain) – have also been announced.
The awards are voted on by an international jury respectively made up of all women’s and men’s national team coaches, the current captains of all women’s and national teams, one “specialist” journalist from each territory represented by a national team, and fans registered on FIFA.com.
Former Central Coast Mariners star Alou Kuol had been on a shortlist of 11 for the FIFA Puskás Award for goal of year.
But Kuol’s memorable “scorpion kick” effort for the Australian under-23 team against Iraq wasn’t enough to secure him a spot in the final three, which is made of goals from Poland’s Marcin Oleksy, Frenchman Dimitri Payet and Brazilian Richarlison.
The winners of the Best FIFA Football Awards 2022 will be announced in Paris on February 27.