By 90Min
August 01, 2019

Emerging as an alternative to France Football's Ballon d'Or in 2016, The Best FIFA Football Awards is still very much in its infancy.

But last year's decision to award Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić with the trophy - Cristiano Ronaldo won its first two instalments - showed that football's biggest awards could be moving away from what many believe to be little more than a popularity contest.

But while the award might no longer be a matter of counting up a player's social media following, FIFA's nominees for this year's trophy has a few notable absentees.

Here's a handful of stars who could (and probably should) have been included on their official 10-man shortlist ahead of the award ceremony in Milan on September 23.

Neymar - Paris Saint-Germain

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It is a popularity contest after all, right?

Anyone who's been watching European football over the last 12 months is all too aware that Paris Saint-Germain's poster boy Neymar doesn't deserve to be on FIFA's shortlist, let alone anywhere near contention for the award itself.

The 27-year-old was missing through injury or suspension in crucial matches for Les Parisiens last season, while he also missed Brazil's entire Copa América campaign.

Appearances: 28

Goals: 23

Assists: 13

Major Honours: Ligue 1 & Trophée des Champions.

Dušan Tadić - AFC Ajax


Two Ajax players found their way onto The Best shortlist, but there were two notable absentees out of all the players in Amsterdam.

Hakim Ziyech, Ajax's Player of the Season, could certainly have found his way onto the shortlist, but perhaps more surprising was the absence of last season's top goalscorer Dušan Tadić.

The 30-year-old was crucial to their success in the Champions League last season and scored vital goals against S.L. Benfica, Bayern Munich and most notably Real Madrid.

Appearances: 58

Goals: 38

Assists: 24

Major Honours: Eredivisie, KNVB Beker & Johan Cruyff Shield.

Raheem Sterling - Manchester City

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For those who haven't seen FIFA's 10-man shortlist, those at the highest level of professional football have deemed Tottenham's Harry Kane to have a better season than Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup winner Raheem Sterling.

But as Kane's got the same trophy cabinet as everyone who's never even kicked a football before, it would be safe to assume that he at least scored more goals than Sterling last season?

Wrong. Kane scored 24 across all competitions for Tottenham, while Sterling notched more from a wide position to actually help Manchester City win a host of trophies.

Appearances: 51

Goals: 25

Assists: 18

Major Honours: Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup & Community Shield.

Alisson Becker - Liverpool

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Manuel Neuer was the last goalkeeper to ever be in with a serious chance of winning a major individual award - he came third in the 2014 Ballon d'Or - while a shot-stopper hasn't won one since Soviet legend Lev Yashin in 1963.

But Alisson Becker could have come as close as any goalkeeper in recent years after helping to transform Liverpool over the last 12 months, with the Reds picking up their record points tally in the Premier League while also being crowned as the Champions of Europe.

He was also an ever-present as Brazil went on to win this summer's Copa América.

Appearances: 51

Goals Conceded: 38

Clean Sheets: 27

Major Honours: Champions League & Copa América

Bernardo Silva - Manchester City

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Up there with Wesley Sneijder and Franck Ribéry missing out on the Ballon d'Or in 2010 and 2013 respectively as a genuine failing of European football's award system, Manchester City talisman Bernardo Silva isn't even in contention for this year's FIFA The Best.

The Portugal international was at the heart of City's treble-winning season and even voted as the club's Player of the Season, while he also featured heavily for the Selecção das Quinas as they went on to win the inaugural UEFA Nations League.

Many expected it to be a slam dunk that Silva would at least make it onto FIFA's 10-man shortlist, so his absence has unsurprisingly left fans questioning the legitimacy (and not for the first time) of the governing body's decision making.

Appearances: 51

Goals: 13

Assists: 14

Major Honours: Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, Community Shield & UEFA Nations League.

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