Liverpool famed forward Mohamed Salah and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland along with Real Madrid Striker Karim Benzema were named for the FIFA’s Best Men’s Player Award 2021. The 11-man shortlist published on Monday also featured familiar candidates Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Last year’s Best FIFA Men’s Player Robert Lewandowski will also be running to retain his title this year. Jorginho, with his club teammate N’Golo Kanté, also is a part of the list of potential winners.
Chelsea was the winner of last season’s Champions League and England was among the finalists of Euro 2020. However, the nomination list for the men’s award does not have the name of any English player in it.
There are also no defenders or goalkeepers named in the list for the main award as goalkeepers have their separate award.
FIFA also announced the names for Women’s best player which includes four Barcelona names: Alexia Putellas, Jennifer Hermoso, Aitana Bonmati and Caroline Graham Hansen.
Chelsea, last year’s runner-up in the Women’s Champions League, also has its representatives on the women’s list. The four selected Chelsea players are Sam Kerr, Ji So-yun, Magdalena Eriksson and Pernille Harder.
Lucy Bronze, who was the Best FIFA Women’s Player in the last season is joined by her fellow Ellen White. Other names in contention include Canada’s Olympic gold medallist Christine Sinclair and Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius.
The architect of Chelsea’s victory in the Champions League, coach Thomas Tuchel is selected to run for the title of the best men’s coach. His competitors are Roberto Mancini, Hansi Flick, Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Diego Simeone and Argentina’s Lionel Scaloni.
The votes for the prizes of men’s best player, women’s best player, best men’s coach and goalkeeper are collected from the captains, coaches, fans and selected journalists. This year’s voting process will be open from November 22 to December 10.
The top three names from each category will be announced sometime in early January and the final ceremony will be held virtually on January 17 due to the Covid situation from FIFA headquarters in Zurich.
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