The Best FIFA Football Awards were started in 2016 with Cristiano Ronaldo bagging the Best Men's Player award twice (2016 and 2017). Luka Modric took the honour in 2018 after taking Croatia to the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.
On Wednesday, FIFA announced the 10-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year Award. As expected, Lionel Messi was named in the list after a stellar season for Barcelona. Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk too found a place after leading the Reds to Champions League glory and a second-place finish in the Premier League.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Eden Hazard also made the cut. However, there were some surprising exclusions from the list. Some of the top performers during the 2018/19 were not named in the top 10.
Here is the complete list of footballers nominated for the award:
Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus, Netherlands), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt), Sadio Mane (Liverpool, Senegal), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool, Netherlands), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus, Portugal), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid, Belgium), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona, Netherlands), Harry Kane (Tottenham, England), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain, France).
Without much ado, let’s take a look at 3 players who were unlucky to miss out on a nomination.
#3 Alisson Becker, Liverpool
In a game where attacking players get all the plaudits on most occasions, Alisson Becker stood apart in Liverpool’s successful 2018/19 campaign. Alisson won the Champions League with Liverpool and also kept a clean sheet in the all-important final against Tottenham Hotspur.
He also won the Copa America with Brazil a few weeks ago. He was also impressive in the Premier League last season where he conceded only 22 goals in 38 games as Liverpool were defensively the best team in the English top-flight. Based on his performances over the past 12 months, Becker was unlucky to miss out on the shortlist.