GENEVA – Five-time winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were among the 10 candidates for the FIFA best player award announced Wednesday. United States forward Megan Rapinoe is the favorite for the women’s award.
Ronaldo and Messi were joined by three Liverpool players, Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane. Liverpool won the Champions League title in June.
Also on the list were Ajax players Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, who have since joined Barcelona and Juventus, respectively, along with former Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, who has joined Real Madrid, Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe.
Luka Modric, who won the award last year after leading Croatia to the World Cup final, was not on the list.
Rapinoe was on a list of 12 players that included teammates Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle and Julie Ertz. Ada Hegerberg, a Norway forward who won the Ballon d’Or but skipped this year’s World Cup, was also nominated.
Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp was nominated for best coach along with Premier League rivals Pep Guardiola of Manchester City and Mauricio Pochettino of Tottenham.
United States coach Jill Ellis, who won back-to-back World Cup titles before stepping down after more than five years in charge, was nominated for the award for the best coach in women’s soccer.
Three finalists in each category — best male player, best female player, best coach in men’s soccer and best coach in women’s soccer — will be announced before the ceremony in Milan on Sept. 23.
The winners will be voted by national team coaches and captains, selected media and online fan voting.