The Bale, Messi, Ronaldo and Salah strikes among Puskas Award nominees

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The Portugal captain won the award for the last two years, and five times overall.

However, something odd has occurred in 2018, with the notable name of Messi missing off the shortlist for the Federation Internationale de Football Association best player of the year.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has claimed that Juventus must be regarded as "a clear favourite" for Champions League glory this season following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo faces stiff competition from former Real Madrid team-mate Luka Modric and Egypt's Mohamed Salah to be crowned FIFA's player of the year for a sixth time.

Talking about the three finalists for this years' FIFA Best player award, Ronaldo the top scorer at Champions League gets a bit extra prominence as well as he lifted this trophy as well.

Former Brazil great Ronaldo took over Monday as the majority stakeholder in recently promoted Spanish club Valladolid, saying he is bringing his soccer expertise to help the team succeed.

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And even when he did win, he did so purely on the merit of leading Real Madrid to the Champions League title.

Salah had a dream season as well with Liverpool as he led Jurgen Klopp's side to the Champions League final and set the Premier League goal-scoring record with 32 goals.

He was also instrumental in Croatia's campaign, taking them to the finale of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

Reynold Pedros of Lyon, Japan boss Asako Takakura and Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman are in the running for best women's coach.

Barca, meanwhile, have kept all of their best players this summer as well as adding four new signings in Arthur Melo, Clement Lenglet, Malcom and Arturo Vidal, who they hope will add depth in their tilt for Champions League success.

"I think we have a new victor this year", said the Manchester United great.

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