Three Liverpool players have been named in the ten nominees announced for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award.
Defender Virgil van Dijk and forward Sadio Mane join Mohammed Salah, who finished in the top three last year, on the shortlist.
The three were the leading men in Liverpool’s successful campaign last season.
van Dijk led from the back as the Reds lost only one game in the Premier League in the last campaign, while Mane and Salah scored 26 and 27 goals respectively as they won the Champions League and just missed out on a first Premier League title by one point.
Two of those three also had some decent results in international competitions; van Dijk helped Holland reach the UEFA Nations League final, while Mane scored three goals as Senegal reached the final of the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
Also named in the list are Juventus forward and two-time winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo, who failed to pick up a third straight award last year, had an impressive year with the Italian giants, winning the Serie A title and the Italian Cup, while being named the Player of the season.
Messi scored 51 goals in 50 appearances last season for Barcelona as they won the Spanish title and guided Argentina to the semifinals of the Copa America as captain.
After Ajax’s stunning season, two of their players made it onto the shortlist.
Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, who have since moved on to other clubs, were also part of the Netherlands squad that reached the Nations League final.
The list is rounded out by former Chelsea winger, Eden Hazard who has since earned a big-money move to Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspurs striker, Harry Kane and PSG forward, Kylian Mbappe.
The winner of last year’s award, Luka Modric, failed to make this year’s shortlist.
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) – Juventus
Frenkie de Jong (NED) – Ajax / FC Barcelona
Matthijs de Ligt (NED) – Ajax / Juventus
Eden Hazard (BEL) – Chelsea / Real Madrid
Harry Kane (ENG) – Tottenham Hotspur
Sadio Mane (SEN) – Liverpool
Kylian Mbappe (FRA) – Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi (ARG) – FC Barcelona
Mohamed Salah (EGY) – Liverpool
Virgil van Dijk (NED) – Liverpool
WHO MISSED OUT?
Some fans are up in arms over the absence of some players on the list.
Most notable amongst them are Man City and Portugal attacker Bernardo Silva and Liverpool goalkeeper, Alisson.
Bernado was one of the Manchester club’s star performers as they won a domestic treble and reached the quarterfinal of the Champions League.
He was also influential in Portugal’s run to the UEFA Nations League being named the best player of the tournament.
His teammate Riyad Mahrez, while not being as key to Man City’s title wins, played his part and also helped Algeria win the 2019 AFCON.
Alisson, after helping Liverpool to the Champions League crown and second place in the Premier League, capped off a stunning year with the Copa America title with Brazil.
The biggest surprise in the shortlist is definitely the inclusion of Spurs’ Harry Kane.
Despite Spurs finishing in the top 4 in the Premier League and reaching the Champions League final, Kane missed a large part of the season through a couple of injuries.
He, however, played his part as England reached the Nations League semis.
WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR
A new winner will be picked for the women’s award as last year’s winner Marta did not make the shortlist.
The list includes 11 players who featured for their nations at the recent Women’s World Cup, won by the USA.
Players from the World champions dominate the list accounting for four of the names with two each from France, Norway and England.
Lucy Bronze (ENG) – Olympique Lyonnais
Julie Ertz (USA) – Chicago Red Stars
Caroline Graham Hansen (NOR) – Wolfsburg / FC Barcelona
Ada Hegerberg (NOR) – Olympique Lyonnais
Amandine Henry (FRA) – Olympique Lyonnais
Sam Kerr (AUS) – Chicago Red Stars / Perth Glory
Rose Lavelle (USA) – Washington Spirit
Vivianne Miedema (NED) – Arsenal
Alex Morgan (USA) – Orlando Pride
Megan Rapinoe (USA) – Reign FC
Wendie Renard (FRA) – Olympique Lyonnais
Ellen White (ENG) – Birmingham City / Manchester City
HOW WILL VOTING BE DONE?
Voting is open for the award and is split between the players, the coaches, the fans and the media.
The votes of the national team captains, national team coaches, selected members of the media and the fans form 25% the total votes each.
The award will be presented on September 23.