Virgil van Dijk wins UEFA Men's Player of the Year award

Virgil van Dijk is on the shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award alongside Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, both of whom he beat to UEFA’s Player of the Year gong last week.

The Dutch defender was crucial as Liverpool won the Champions League last season, while Messi scored 51 goals in 50 Barca appearances and Ronaldo won Serie A in his first season as a Juventus player before leading Portugal to victory in the Nations League finals.

Van Dijk’s club manager Jurgen Klopp has been nominated alongside Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award.

The trio comprise a Premier League clean sweep for the three-man shortlist after Guardiola helped Manchester City to an unprecedented domestic treble, while Klopp pipped Pochettino’s Tottenham side to Champions League glory in Madrid.

City and Liverpool goalkeepers Ederson and Alisson are vying to be recognised as the world’s best ‘keeper alongside Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The finalists for eight of the total 11 awards were announced on Monday at the San Siro stadium in Milan, while the winners will be revealed at the Teatro alla Scala in the same city on September 23.

England Women head coach Phil Neville has been shortlisted for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach award. He guided the Lionesses to the semi-finals of this summer’s World Cup, but saw his side beaten in France by eventual winners USA.

USA coach Jill Ellis and Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman complete the shortlist.

England and Lyon full-back Lucy Bronze has made the list for The Best FIFA Women’s Player award, but England’s standout star – who Neville previously described as the best player in the world – faces tough competition from two Americans.

Megan Rapinoe, who won the Golden Boot for top scorer and Golden Ball for best player at the tournament, as well as making stirring comments directed at President Donald Trump, and USA team-mate Alex Morgan are also in contention.

The Puskas Award, traditionally given to the scorer of the ‘most beautiful’ goal of the calendar year, will be contested by Lionel Messi for his sublime chip against Real Betis in March.

His challengers are Juan Fernando Quintero of River Plate for his long-range free-kick against Racing Club in February and 18-year-old Daniel Zsori for a stunning overhead kick for Debrecen against Ferencvaros in February.

The award for the best women’s goalkeeper will be between Paris Saint-Germain’s Christiane Endler, Wolfsburg’s Hedvig Lindahl and Atletico Madrid’s Sari van Veenendaal.

Meanwhile, the 55-person shortlists for the Women’s and Men’s FIFPro World 11 will be announced on September 4 and 5 respectively.

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