The star-studded list of candidates for the 2019 Best FIFA Men’s Player award was revealed Wednesday.
Although defending champion Luka Modric failed to make the shortlist, familiar faces such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the top 10 candidates. Combined, the former La Liga rivals have won the award 10 times (five each).
The two superstars, however, will face tough competition with the inclusion of PFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk, who played a pivotal role in helping Liverpool win the Champions League in June. The Dutch defender is joined by Reds teammates Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Meanwhile, wunderkinds Kylian Mbappe (20), Frenkie de Jong (22), and Matthijs de Ligt(19) will each look to win the prestigious trophy for the first time, despite the overwhelming feeling that none of them have reached their tremendous potential yet.
Full list of candidates:
|Virgil van Dijk||Liverpool||Netherlands|
|Matthijs de Ligt||Juventus||Netherlands|
|Frenkie de Jong||Barcelona||Netherlands|
|Kylian Mbappe||Paris Saint-Germain||France|
|Eden Hazard||Real Madrid||Belgium|
The winner will be revealed at The Best FIFA Football Awards show in Milan, Italy, on Sept. 23.