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Revealed | Three-man final goalkeeper shortlist for FIFA’s The Best awards

Two brilliant World Cup performances will be center stage at the upcoming annual FIFA awards as football’s governing body prepares to honor lofty achievement on the pitch across the last twelve months

The annual FIFA Football Awards are set to take center stage in just over two weeks’ time as the sports governing body prepares to honor both men and women footballers across the last twelve months of top-level performance across the globe.

With the 2022 World Cup still fresh in the memory of millions, many will not struggle to remember the neverending list of magical moments that transpired across grounds in Qatar as the Arab world played host to one of the world’s most-beloved competitions for the first time.

With nominees for best men’s player, best women’s player, and the Puskás award already public, FIFA has also released the three-man shortlist for best goalkeeper, featuring two top-class performances at the World Cup possibly taking center stage.

Sevilla shot-stopper Yassine Bounou was one of a number of players who will go down as national heroes in Morocco after Walid Regragui’s Atlas Lions became the first African nation to reach the semi-finals in tournament history, seeing their way past European giants Belgium, Spain, and Portugal along the way. The 31-year-old was one of the tournament’s top performers in goal as Morocco earned four clean sheets across seven matches, which also included a 3-0 penalty shootout win against Luis Enrique’s La Roja in the round of 16.

Aston Villa keeper Emiliano Martínez continues to perform on the big stage for Argentina in tournament play and helped La Albiceleste lift the World Cup for the first time since 1986 while aiding Lionel Messi in his quest to chase the legacy of national icon Diego Maradona. Martínez produced a number of spectacular saves across the tournament, none more important than his denial of Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani who nearly scored in the dying embers of the second period of extra time before France went on to lose the final on penalties.

Lastly, Real Madrid star Thibaut Courtois is once again viewed as one of the best shot-stoppers in the world on merit despite Belgium’s abject failure in Qatar. The former Chelsea goalkeeper has reached another level since his arrival at Real Madrid, and his appearances for the Spanish giants during the 2021-22 season, which saw the club win all three of La Liga, the Champions League, and Supercopa de España last season, as well as the 2022 UEFA Super Cup, stands as a testament to his influence in goal for the storied outfit.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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