The nominees for FIFA’s ‘The Best’ award have been announced, with a ten-man shortlist consisting of some of the finest players on the planet dominated by Liverpool stars.
A successor to current holder Luka Modric will be announced in September, with four Premier League players among the contenders.
Three of those four come from Liverpool alone, after the Reds dazzled last season to win their sixth European title in Madrid after beating Tottenham.
Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are each up for the honour, along with Spurs frontman Harry Kane.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi feature in the considerations as ever, with the likes of Kylian Mbappe hot on their tails.
The shortlist takes on a youthful edge, with Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt both in the running following a sublime 2018-19 season with Ajax.
Both Dutch youngsters played a pivotal role in reaching the Champions League semi-finals, though sealed summer moves respectively off the back of their success.
Real Madrid new boy Eden Hazard makes up the final slot of the 10-man shortlist, and is the only player from Madrid in contention.
Last season Modric scooped the honour following a Champions League winning year with Madrid and an influential World Cup run with his native Croatia.
Ronaldo was narrowly beaten in second place, while Liverpool’s Salah took third.
The award is aimed at reviving the FIFA World Player of the Year, which was merged with France Football’s Ballon d’Or in 2010 to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or in a six-year partnerships.
The first awarding ceremony was held on 9 January 2017 in Zurich, Switzerland and was won by Cristiano Ronaldo.
The shortlist will be cut down to three at a later date, with fans and other key members of the footballing community, such as journalists, national team coaches captains all involved in the voting process.
The winner will be revealed at The Best FIFA Football Awards show in Milan on 23 September.
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach nominees : Djamel Belmadi (Algeria), Didier Deschamps (France), Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate), Ricardo Gareca (Peru), Pep Guardiola (Manchester City), Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool), Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham), Fernando Santos (Portugal), Erik ten Hag (Ajax), Tite (Brazil).