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.
A successor to current holder Luka Modric will be announced in September, with four Premier League players among the contenders.
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 partnership.
The first awarding ceremony was held on 9 January 2017 in Zurich, Switzerland and was won by Cristiano Ronaldo.