By Kunle Adedoyin
Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League winning trio of Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane are on the shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s player award announced on Wednesday.
The Liverpool trio joined regulars nominees, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the shortlist announced by world football governing body FIFA.
Egyptian Salah and Senegalese Mane shared the English Premier League (EPL) Golden Boot, with Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, for the league’s top scorer with 22 goals each.
Messi was the leading scorer in both the Spanish La Liga (36 goals) and the UEFA Champions League (12 goals) last season.
Centre-back Van Dijk was voted both the Premier League Player of the Season and the Players’ Player of the Year, and was instrumental in the Merseyside club’s sixth European Cup triumph.
Ronaldo won Italy’s Serie A title in his debut season with Juventus and was also voted the league’s most valuable player. He also led Portugal to the inaugural UEFA Nations League title last month.
Women’s World Cup winners Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Julie Ertz of the US were nominated for the best women’s player award along with last year’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg.
Rapinoe won the top scorer’s Golden Boot and Golden Ball for the best player at the tournament. Hegerberg’s treble-winning Olympique Lyonnais team mates Lucy Bronze, Amandine Henry and Wendie Renard also made the cut.
Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp and domestic treble winner Pep Guardiola of Manchester City head the nominees for the men’s coach of the year award. Other nominees include Portugal coach Fernando Santos, Brazil coach Tite, who led his side to the Copa America title, and Africa Cup of Nations winner Djamel Belmadi of Algeria.
US women’s national team coach Jill Ellis, who led her side to its fourth World Cup title earlier this month, heads the list of nominees for the best women’s team coach. She is joined by Lyon’s treble-winning coach Reynald Pedros; Sarina Wiegman, who led the Netherlands to their first ever World Cup final and Joe Montemurro who led Arsenal to the FA Women’s Super League title.
The three finalists for each award will be revealed at a later date, with the winners to be announced in a ceremony in Milan on Sept. 23.
Full list of nominees:
- The Best FIFA Men’s Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Juventus), Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs de Ligt (both Netherlands/Ajax Amsterdam), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Harry Kane (England/Tottenham Hotspur), Sadio Mane (Senegal/Liverpool) Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris St Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands/Liverpool)
- The Best FIFA Women’s Player: Lucy Bronze (England/Olympique Lyon), Ada Hegerberg (Norway/Olympique Lyon), Julie Ertz (U.S./Chicago Red Stars), Sam Kerr (Australia/Perth Glory and Chicago Red Stars), Rose Lavelle (U.S./Washington Spirit) Caroline Hansen (Norway/Barcelona), Amandine Henry (France/Olympique Lyon), Alex Morgan (U.S./Orlando Pride), Megan Rapinoe (U.S./Reign FC), Wendie Renard (France/Olympique Lyon), Ellen White (England/Manchester City)
- The Best FIFA Men’s Coach: Djamel Belmadi (Algeria/Algerian national team), Didier Deschamps (France, French national team), Marcelo Gallardo (Argentina/River Plate), Ricardo Gareca (Argentina/Peru), Pep Guardiola (Spain/Manchester City), Juergen Klopp (Germany/Liverpool) Mauricio Pochettino (Argentina/Tottenham Hotspur), Fernando Santos (Portugal/Portuguese national team), Erik ten Hag (Netherlands/Ajax Amsterdam), Tite (Brazil/Brazilian national team).
- The Best FIFA Women’s Coach: Milena Bertolini (Italy/Italian national team), Jill Ellis (U.S./U.S. national team), Peter Gerhardsson (Sweden/Swedish national team), Futoshi Ikeda (Japan/Japan Under-20 women’s team), Antonia Is (Spain/Spanish Under-17 team) Joe Montemurro (Australia/Arsenal women), Phil Neville (England/England national team), Reynald Pedros (France/Olympique Lyon), Paul Riley (England/North Carolina Courage), Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands/Dutch national team).