The Premier League dominates the ten-man shortlist for the 2019 Best Fifa Player of the Year award.
Half of the names come from the English top-flight, just reward for the fact that the EPL provided the clubs for the finals of both the Uefa Champions League and the Europa League.
Reds trio are in
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Liverpool’s triumphant Champions League win is reflected in the fact that Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane make the shortlist, as does Harry Kane of Tottenham, who lost in the final.
The fifth Premier League player is Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s inspiration when they thrashed Arsenal in the Europa League final, and who has since signed for Real Madrid.
The other nominees for the prestigious prize, which is now in its fourth year, are Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and the Ajax duo Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt - both of whom have now left the Dutch club. De Jong has signed for Barcelona while De Ligt has joined Juventus.
Defender to win top gong?
Last year’s winner, Luka Modric of Real Madrid, doesn’t make the list and there is the very real prospect that this year’s winner may come from outside La Liga for the first time since Ronaldo scooped the award in 2008 while at Manchester United.
Furthermore, given the towering performances last season from Van Dijk and De Ligt, it’s also possible a defender may be crowned the world’s best player, something that hasn’t happened since Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro was elected the winner in 2006.
The shortlist was compiled on how players performed from 16 July 2018 to 19 July 2019, and the names were put forward by a panel of experts.
The only oddity is the omission of any player from Manchester City, given that they won an unprecedented domestic treble, scooping the Premier League title along with the FA and League Cups.
Raheem Sterling, in particular, can feel aggrieved to have missed out considering the goals he contributed for City and England, while Sergio Aguero scored 21 Premier League goals, four more than Tottenham’s Kane.
According to the Manchester Evening News - despite the fact Pep Guardiola has been nominated for the Best Coach of the Year and new City striker Ellen White is on the shortlist for the Best Woman Player - the club “are fuming that their male stars haven’t been given the recognition they deserve”.
US women dominant
The women’s list is dominated by the United States, after their recent World Cup win, while Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema, the PFA Women’s Player of the Year, represents the Netherlands side that lost to the US.
England’s Lucy Bronze is the other Lioness alongside White. “Feeling very proud & honoured to be nominated for The Best award alongside these incredible women & players,” said City star White on Twitter.
White and the other nominees will discover if they’ve won at the 2019 Fifa Best Football Awards in Milan on 23 September.
Fifa Best Football Awards nominations
Men’s Player of the Year shortlist
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus, Portugal)
- Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona, Netherlands)
- Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus, Netherlands)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham, England)
- Eden Hazard (Real Madrid, Belgium)
- Sadio Mane (Liverpool, Senegal)
- Kylian Mbappe (PSG, France)
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt)
- Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool, Netherlands)
Women’s Player of the Year shortlist
- Lucy Bronze (Lyon, England)
- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars, USA)
- Caroline Graham Hansen (Barcelona, Norway)
- Ada Hegerberg (Lyon, Norway)
- Amandine Henry (Lyon, France)
- Sam Kerr (Perth Glory, Australia)
- Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit, USA)
- Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal, Netherlands)
- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride, USA)
- Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC, USA)
- Wendie Renard (Lyon, France)
- Ellen White (Manchester City, England)
Men’s coach of the year shortlist
- Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
- Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
- Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)
- Djamel Belmadi (Algeria)
- Didier Deschamps (France)
- Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate)
- Ricardo Gareca (Peru)
- Fernando Santos (Portugal)
- Erik Ten Hag (Ajax)
- Tite (Brazil)
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