Van Dijk, Messi, Ronaldo shortlisted for FIFA Best Player award

Madrid, Sep 2 (IANS) | Publish Date: 9/2/2019 12:08:56 PM IST

Juventus’ Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona’s Argentine talisman Lionel Messi and Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk made the short list for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award, the international soccer federation announced on Monday.

The announcement came days after the Dutchman prevailed over Messi and Ronaldo to win the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award for 2018-19.
Van Dijk succeeded Real Madrid’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric, who last year pipped Ronaldo, with whom he had helped the Spanish club earn its 13th UEFA Champions League title, and Egyptian Mohamed Salah, who led Liverpool to the final of the elite continental club competition.
The short list for the Best FIFA Women’s Player featured Olympique Lyonnais’ Briton Lucy Bronze -- who clinched the UEFA award a few days ago -- and Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who were part of the US national team which won the FIFA World Cup held this year in France. Three Premier League coaches made the short list for the best men’s manager of the season, including Manchester City’s Spaniard Pep Guardiola, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp of Germany, who led his team to Champions League triumph, and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino of Argentina, who had to settle for the runner-up spot in the Champions League final.
For the best women’s coach award, those shortlisted include Jill Ellis, who led the US team to World Cup glory, England national team manager Phil Neville and Sarina Wiegman, the Dutch national team boss.
Liverpool’s Alisson Becker of Brazil will compete for the FIFA Best Men’s Goalkeeper award with Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Germany and Manchester City’s Ederson of Brazil.
PSG’s Christiana Endler of Chile, Sweden’s Hedvig Lindahl (Chelsea/Wolfsburg) and Dutchwoman Sari van Veenendaal (Arsenal/Atletico Madrid) made the short list for the Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper award.
The short list for FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal includes Messi’s third goal against Real Betis on March 17, Juan Fernando Quintero’s goal with River Plate against Racing at the Argentinian Superliga on February 10 and Daniel Zsori’s tally in the Debrecen FC-Ferencvaros clash at the Hungarian first tier league in February.
The FIFA website users can now vote till September 23 for the FIFA Fan Award from among Silvia Grecco of Brazil, Uruguay’s Justo Sanchez and the Dutch national team supporters.
Grecco describes Palmeiras’ matches to her blind son while Sanchez is a Cerro fan who assists all the matches of his favourite team’s rival Rampla to honuor the memory of his son who was killed in a traffic accident after a match.
The winners will be revealed during a ceremony at Milan’s La Scala theatre on September 23.

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