Liverpool’s Champions League winning trio of Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane joined regulars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the shortlist for The Best Fifa Men’s player award, world soccer’s governing body announced on Wednesday.
Salah and Mane shared the Premier League Golden Boot – with Arsenal’s Pierre-EmerickAubameyang – for the league’s top scorer with 22 goals each while Messi was the leading scorer in both La Liga (36 goals) and the Champions League (12 goals) last season.
Centre-back Van Dijk was voted both the Premier League Player of the Season and the Players’ Player of the Year, and was instrumental in the Merseyside club’s sixth European Cup triumph.
Ronaldo won Italy’s Serie A title in his debut season with Juventus and was also voted the league’s most valuable player. He also led Portugal to the inaugural Uefa Nations League title last month.
US World Cup winners Megan Rapinoe, who won the top scorer’s Golden Boot and Golden Ball for the best player at the tournament, Alex Morgan and Julie Ertz were nominated for the best women’s player award along with last year’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg.
Hegerberg’s treble-winning Olympique Lyonnais teammates Lucy Bronze, Amandine Henry and WendieRenard also made the cut.
Liverpool coach JurgenKlopp and domestic treble winner Pep Guardiola of Manchester City, alongsideMauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)head the nominees for the men’s coach of the year award.
Other nominees include Portugal coach Fernando Santos, Brazil coach Tite, who led his side to the Copa America title, and Africa Cup of Nations winner DjamelBelmadi of Algeria.
US women’s national team coach Jill Ellis, who led her side to their fourth World Cup title earlier this month, heads the list of nominees for the best women’s team coach.
She is joined by Lyon’s treble-winning coach Reynald Pedros, Sarina Wiegman, who led the Netherlands to their first ever World Cup final, and Joe Montemurro who led Arsenal to the FA Women’s Super League title.
The three finalists for each award will be revealed at a later date, with the winners to be announced in a ceremony in Milan on September 23.