Virgil van Dijk will go up against Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the men’s prize in the Best FIFA Football Awards.
The world governing body revealed the names in the running for the honour and it is a strong list of contenders, with the Liverpool defender odds-on favourite following his superb season for Liverpool.
Van Dijk helped the Reds to win the Champions League and they just missed out on the Premier League by a single point to Manchester City.
He was integral to Netherlands reaching the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League, but they were beaten in the final by Portugal.
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric was the winner last year after his starring role in helping Croatia reach the World Cup final but doesn’t get a look in this time after a poor 2018/19 campaign.
TrueCelebMedia takes a look at the candidates and their credentials.
10. Harry Kane (Tottenham)
After an excellent 2017/18 season in which he scored 41 goals for Spurs in all competitions and won the World Cup Golden Boot, Kane would have hoped to continue his incredible form.
However, despite ending his August hoodoo, he would managed just 17 goals, his lowest tally in five seasons, although this was mainly down to two separate ankle injuries.
He did manage to play in the Champions League final but had little impact after one of those spells out.
9. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
The 20-year-old finished fourth in this award last season, following his World Cup winning summer, but may struggle to get that close this time around.
It is hard to argue with 39 goals in all competitions even if it is not in the strongest league, but failure in the Champions League and French League Cup are likely to hinder his chances.
8. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
He won the Champions League with the Reds and claimed a share of the Premier League Golden Boot after scoring 22 goals. But he lost out in the African Cup of Nations final with Senegal.
Mane is only this far down the list due to the standard of players ahead of him.
7. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
A near identical season to his strike partner Mane, (who he shared the Golden Boot with) the Egyptian is one place better off than his teammate.
He became the joint-fourth fastest player to reach 50 Premier League goals, doing so in 72 appearances and the quickest for Liverpool.
6. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)
A series of excellent performances for Ajax, which helped the club reach the Champions League semi-final and win a Dutch League and Cup double.
The scintillating form earned him a big-money move to Barca this summer and even bigger things are now expected of him.
5. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)
The ex-Chelsea superstar finally completed his much anticipated move to the Bernabeu, which was helped by his brilliance in west London.
Hazard scored 21 times and assisted 17 more as he carried the Blues at some stages last campaign, capping his seventh and final season with glory in the Europa League.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
No one would have blamed the Portuguese superstar for remaining in Spain with Real, but he opted to swap his comfort zone for Serie A.
Compared to recent seasons, 21 league goals, and 28 in all competitions, is a modest return for a player who last hit less than 30 a decade ago.
Still, his impact was enough to secure a league and cup double and there is every chance he will double his tally this time around now he has settled in.
He also won his second piece of international silverware with Portugal as they claimed the UEFA Nations League.
3. Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)
To stand out in a team as talented as Ajax is no easy feat, but De Ligt is no ordinary player.
At just 19, he wore the captain’s armband and played a commanding role in defence to take his side to the Champions League semi-final.
His performances also led to domestic honours and after being linked to a host of major names in Europe, Juventus secured his signature.
2. Lionel Messi
Messi scored 51 goals in 50 games for Barcelona last season, winning the Golden Boot in both the Champions League and La Liga but, despite his brilliance showing no sign of waning, there is one man just ahead of him.
1. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Voted PFA Player of the Year, the towering Dutchman, Van had played every Premier League game for Liverpool as they conceded just 22 goals, the lowest in Europe’s top six leagues.
Even more impressive, no player is yet to dribble past him in 64 matches since March 2018.
Second in the league, Champions League winner, UEFA Nations League finalist, but his reign as the world’s most expensive defender is possibly about to end if Harry Maguire joins Manchester United.