Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi and Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo have been named in the final shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award.
The final shortlist was announced in Milan on Monday
van Dijk led from the back as the Reds lost only one game in the Premier League in the last campaign, finishing as runners-up to Manchester City.
He was also in imperious form for Liverpool in the Champions League as they became European Champions for the sixth time. He also helped Holland reach the UEFA Nations League final.
van Dijk was named UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year last week, beating the same two players on this shortlist.
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.
Missing out on the shortlist are former Ajax players Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, 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.
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.
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 final list includes two players from the World champions USA, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan and England’s Lucy Bronze.
FULL FINAL LIST
The Best FIFA Men’s Player
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) – Juventus
Lionel Messi (ARG) – FC Barcelona
Virgil van Dijk (NED) – Liverpool
The Best FIFA Women’s Player
Lucy Bronze (ENG) – Olympique Lyonnais
Alex Morgan (USA) – Orlando Pride
Megan Rapinoe (USA) – Reign FC
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach
Pep Guardiola (ESP) – Manchester City
Jurgen Klopp (GER) – Liverpool
Mauricio Pochettino (ARG) – Tottenham Hotspur
The Best FIFA Women’s Coach
Jill Ellis (USA) – USA national team
Phil Neville (ENG) – England national team
Sarina Wiegman (NED) – Netherlands national team
FIFA Fan Award
Silvia Grecco (BRA)
Netherlands Fans at the Women’s World Cup (NED)
Justo Sánchez (URU)
The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper
Alisson (BRA) – Liverpool
Ederson (BRA) – Manchester City
Marc-André ter Stegen (GER) – FC Barcelona
The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper
Christiane Endler (CHI) – Paris Saint-Germain
Hedvig Lindahl (SWE) – Chelsea / Wolfsburg
Sari van Veenendaal (NED) – Arsenal / Atletico Madrid
FIFA Puskás Award
Lionel Messi (ARG) – Real Betis v FC Barcelona [La Liga] (17 March 2019)
Juan Fernando Quintero (COL) – River Plate v Racing Club [Argentinian Superliga] (10 February 2019)
Dániel Zsóri (HUN) – Debrecen FC v Ferencváros TC [Nemzeti Bajnoskag I] (16 February 2019)
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.