Although Lionel Messi won the Spanish league title with Barca last season, the 31-year-old had an unhappy World Cup, missing a penalty against Iceland and scoring only once in four games
Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was left off the shortlist for Fifa's Player of the Year award for the first time in 12 years on Monday while Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah were named as the three finalists.
Although Messi won the Spanish league title with Barca last season, the 31-year-old had an unhappy World Cup, missing a penalty against Iceland and scoring only once in four games as they were knocked out in the last 16.
Messi, who last failed to make the final three nominees in 2006, has won the award, in its various guises, five times and finished runner-up on another six occasions.
⚠️ MESSI MISSING ⚠️— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 3, 2018
Mohamed Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric make three-man shortlist for Best FIFA Men's Player award, Lionel Messi omitted.
Full story 👉 https://t.co/pL7trPbDnl | #TheBest pic.twitter.com/w8jUMaf3L2
Ronaldo helped Real Madrid claim a third consecutive Champions League crown before securing a transfer to Juventus.
Midfielder Modric, also part of Madrid's Champions League triumph, finished as a runner-up with Croatia at the World Cup, winning the best player award at the tournament in Russia.
Egyptian forward Salah scored 44 goals for Liverpool last season, helping the English club reach the Champions League final where they were beaten by Real.
Lionel Messi scored the most goals, produced the most assists, played the most key passes and completed the most dribbles as Barcelona won La Liga last season.— bet365 (@bet365) September 3, 2018
He hasn't been named on the FIFA Men's Player Award shortlist for the first time since 2006.
Hampered by injury, he made little impact at the World Cup as his country went out in the group stage.
Brazil's Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Ronaldo or Messi to win the award.