Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, Portugal and Juventus attacker Cristiano Ronaldo and France and Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappé have all been nominated for The Best FIFA Football Awards 2020, following the release of the shortlists.
In line for the men’s prize are Messi, Ronaldo, Mbappé, Thiago Alcântara, Kevin De Bruyne, Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mané, Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk.
The women’s nominees are Lucy Bronze, Delphine Cascarino, Caroline Graham Hansen, Pernille Harder, Jennifer Hermoso, Ji So-yun, Sam Kerr, Saki Kumagai, Dzsenifer Marozsán, Vivianne Miedema and Wendie Renard.
The awards ceremony is scheduled to take place virtually on December 17, which will be a first since its inception in 2016.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA opted to cancel the in-person awards ceremony, following the decision of the Ballon d’Or, which also cancelled its event for the first time since its creation in 1956.
There will be a total of 11 awards on offer at this year’s event including Best FIFA Women’s and Men’s Player, Best FIFA Women’s and Men’s Coach and Best FIFA Women’s and Men’s Goalkeeper.
A World XI for both men and women will also be created, featuring the best players in each position in the game.
The FIFA Fair Play Award, FIFA Fan Award and the FIFA Puskás Award will also be handed out.
The latter is named after Hungarian great Ferenc Puskás and is given to the player who scores the best goal of the year.
Messi and Ronaldo are regarded as two of the best players to ever grace the game with both holding the record for most international goals for their country.
At 170 caps, Ronaldo is also Portugal’s most capped player in history, while Messi is five appearances short of Javier Mascherano’s record of 147 caps for Argentina.
Messi has scored 447 goals in 493 league games for Barcelona, while Ronaldo has 60 goals in 69 league games for current side Juventus, following his 311 goals in 292 games for former club, Real Madrid.
Youngster Mbappé seems to be following a similar trajectory, with 60 goals in 56 league games for PSG.
He also became the second teenager in World Cup history after Pelé to score in the final, playing his part in a 4-2 victory over Croatia in 2018, giving France their second World Cup.
A voting process to decide the winners involves captains and head coaches of all national teams around the world, an online ballot of fans and submissions from select groups of more than 200 media representatives.
This also applies to the goalkeeper accolades, which were previously decided by a panel.
Voting for the awards starts today and runs until December 9.
Messi won the FIFA Best Men’s Player Award for 2019 ahead of Dutch centre back Van Dijk and Ronaldo.
The United States’ Megan Rapinoe beat her team-mate Alex Morgan to the women’s title, while England’s Bronze came third.
Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp and the US women’s national team manager Jill Ellis won the 2019 best coach awards. (Insidethegames)