FIFA have released the final three-strong shortlists for eight awards that will be presented at the 2019 Best FIFA Football Awards later this month, including Best Men’s Player, Best Women’s Player and the ever popular Puskas Award for the best goal of the year.
Liverpool and Netherlands star Virgil van Dijk could become the first defender to win a global individual award since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 after he was named on the final three-man shortlist for Best Men’s Player. Superstars Lionel Messi and CristianoRonaldo join him.
On the reduced shortlist for Best Women’s Player are United States pair and Women’s World Cup winners Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. England fullback Lucy Bronze, who was named UFEA Women’s Player of the Year last week, is also nominated in the final three.
The Best Men’s Coach award is guaranteed to be won by a Premier League manager after Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino were announced as the three finalists for their achievements last season.
Meanwhile, two-time Women’s World Cup winner Jill Ellis is a finalist for Best Women’s Coach, alongside England boss Phil Neville and Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman.
The three finalists for Best Men’s Goalkeeper are Brazilian duo Alisson Becker and Ederson Moraes of Liverpool and Manchester City respectively, both heavily involved in last season’s Premier League title race, and Barcelona and Germany stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Three stars of the 2019 Women’s World Cup are up for the Best Women’s Goalkeeper award. They are Sweden's Hedvig Lindahl, Chile hero Christiane Endler, and Netherlands star Sari van Veenendahl, who swapped Arsenal for Atletico Madrid this summer.
This year’s Puskas Award will go to one of Lionel Messi, Juanfer Quintero or Daniel Zsori after the now closed public vote cut the initial 10-strong shortlist down to just three. The winner of the prize for the ‘most beautiful’ goal, will now be chosen by an expert FIFA panel.
For the 2019 FIFA Fan Award, the final three nominees are Silvia Grecco, a Palmeiras supporter, the fans of the Netherland women national team, and Justo Sanchez for Club Atletico Cerro and Rampla Juniors in Uruguay.
All winners will be announced at the annual FIFA Gala, this year held in Milan on September 23.