Lionel Messi has reportedly been handed a major boost in the race for the Best FIFA Men's Player Of The Year Award.
Messi has been nominated for the award alongside Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah for the award which will be announced on January 17.
The Argentine won the Ballon d'Or last year despite failing to perform his best since making the move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
Messi has scored just one Ligue 1 so far this season but has had a better turn out in the Champions League with five goals in as many games. However, in comparison, Bayern Munich hitman Lewandowski has already scored 31 goals in 26 games, and Liverpool star Salah has 23 in 26 appearances.
According to the Daily Mail, Messi has been handed a huge boost ahead with FIFA stating that his below-par performance at PSG will not be taken into consideration for the award.
“The panel will select the winner for their respective achievements during the period from 8 October 2020 to 7 August 2021,” FIFA have stated.
This means that during the specified period, Messi scored 43 goals in 47 games for Barcelona, and helped them win the Copa del Rey in his final season at the Nou Camp.
That period also saw him lift the Copa America with Argentina - his first international trophy.
Messi has already won the Best FIFA Men's Player Of The Year award six times, while Lewandowski claimed it in 2021.
FIFA will officially unveil the winner of the award in an online ceremony in Zurich later this month.