World football governing body FIFA has announced 11 nominees for the best men’s player of the year award.
First on the list is Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk, who led the club to a Premier League title and FIFA Club World Cup success with outstanding and consistent defensive displays, not forgetting his key leadership role in the team.
The duo of Van Dijk’s teammates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane also made the list.
Salah scored 19 goals in 34 Premier League games to secure the 2019/2020 Premier League title for Liverpool and also won the Golden Ball at the FIFA Club World Cup, while Mane created 7 assists and scored 18 goals for Liverpool to clinch the Premier League title. He also won the FIFA Club World Cup.
Spanish defender Sergio Ramos was nominated for his stellar performances for Real Madrid. He led the Spanish giant to the La-Liga title and became the league’s all-time top-scoring defender.
Paris Saint-German duo of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were also included. The Brazilian forward won the domestic quadruple with the French giant and led the club to the UEFA Champions League final for the first time, while Mbappe scored 15 goals in the UEFA Champions League and ended 2019/2020 Ligue 1 season with 18 goals.
Last season’s La-Liga highest goal scorer(25) and the player with the most assists(21) Lionel Messi also made the list, though his side lost the La-Liga title to Real Madrid.
Polish striker Robert Lewandoski made a mark for himself by winning a quintuple with Bayern Munich and became the second player in football history to win a treble including the UEFA Champions League and being the top scorer in all three competitions.
Manchester City midfielder is also nominated after scoring 13 goals and creating 20 assists. He was also awarded the Premier League player of the season award after leading Manchester City to a second-place finish behind Liverpool.
Multiple Balon d’ Or winner Cristiano is present in the list, after scoring 31 goals for Juventus to retain the scudetto, thereby becoming the first player to score 50 goals in the Premier League, La-Liga and Serie A respectively.
Newly signed Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara was nominated after playing a pivotal role that leads to Bayern Munich winning UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga, and German Cup.