Two Australians are up for acclaim at The Best FIFA Football Awards at the end of the year, as the nominations for the four categories were announced by the world football body.
Matildas captain Sam Kerr will go up against Women’s World Cup winners Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz and Rose Lavelle for the award of The Best FIFA Women’s Player.
Lucy Bronze of England is also nominated after an impressive World Cup campaign, while France and Norway have two nominees each, including inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg.
Arsenal women’s coach Joe Montemurro joins Kerr in the running for a major award after he was nominated for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach. Jill Ellis, Phil Neville and Milena Bertolini provide him competition after their World Cup campaigns with the USA, England and Italy respectively.
Champions League winner Jurgen Klopp will resume his rivalry with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola in the running for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach. They are joined by Fernando Santos after he led Portugal to the first UEFA Nations League title, and impressive young Ajax manager Erik ten Hag.
The major prize will of course feature Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool teammates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will pose a threat after lifting the European Cup with the Reds.
Manchester City stars Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva were perhaps unlucky not to be on the list that otherwise features former Ajax duo Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt as well as Eden Hazard.
Full list of nominees here:
The Best FIFA Men’s Player
Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal and Juventus
Frenkie de Jong – Netherlands and Ajax/Barcelona
Matthijs de Ligt – Netherlands and Ajax/Juventus
Eden Hazard – Belgium and Chelsea/Real Madrid
Harry Kane – England and Tottenham Hotspur
Sadio Mane – Senegal and Liverpool
Kylian Mbappe – France and Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi – Argentina and Barcelona
Mohamed Salah – Egypt and Liverpool
Virgil van Dijk – Netherlands and Liverpool
The Best FIFA Women’s Player
Lucy Bronze – England and Olympique Lyonnais
Julie Ertz – USA and Chicago Red Stars
Caroline Graham Hansen – Norway and Wolfsburg/FC Barcelona
Ada Hegerberg – Norway and Olympique Lyonnais
Amandine Henry – France and Olympique Lyonnais
Sam Kerr – Australia and Chicago Red Stars/Perth Glory
Rose Lavelle – USA and Washington Spirit
Vivianne Miedema – Netherlands and Arsenal
Alex Morgan – USA and Orlando Pride
Megan Rapinoe – USA and Reign FC
Wendie Renard – France and Olympique Lyonnais
Ellen White – England and Birmingham City/Manchester City
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach
Djamel Belmadi – Algeria national team
Didier Deschamps – France national team
Marcelo Gallardo – River Plate
Ricardo Gareca – Peru national team
Pep Guardiola – Manchester City
Jurgen Klopp – Liverpool
Mauricio Pochettino – Tottenham Hotspur
Fernando Santos – Portugal national team
Erik ten Hag – Ajax
Tite – Brazil national team
The Best FIFA Women’s Coach
Milena Bertolini – Italy national team
Jill Ellis – USA national team
Peter Gerhardsson – Sweden national team
Futoshi Ikeda – Japan U-20 national team
Antonia Is – Spain U-17 national team
Joe Montemurro – Arsenal
Phil Neville – England national team
Reynald Pedros – Olympique Lyonnais
Paul Riley – North Carolina Courage
Sarina Wiegman – Netherlands national team