With the Ballon d’Or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s top individual prize in football is likely to be FIFA’s The Best awards, and awkward naming aside Liverpool look to be well represented today amongst the nominees.
Six Reds will be in contention across three categories, with four outfielders, one goalkeeper, and one manager up for the awards, which are set to be handed out on December 17th based on voting by the media, an expert panel, and fans.
Alongside manager Jürgen Klopp and goalkeeper Alisson Becker, in the outfield player category there are the three usual Liverpool suspects Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah, and Virgil van Dijk—but now there’s also midfielder Thiago Alcantara.
The classy Spanish international hasn’t had much of a chance to make an impact at Anfield yet due to fitness issues, but he was key to Bayern Munich winning the treble last season and is more than deserving of his inclusion as a nominee.
For Thiago and Liverpool’s other three outfield nominees, they’ll likely have to be happy just being nominated, with Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski the clear frontrunner. Klopp, though, has a case for being favourite in the manager category.
As for Alisson, after winning all the top goalkeeping honours last year, it’s likely that injuries will hurt his chances this time around and it may well be another man involved in Bayern’s treble, Manuel Neur, who takes the prize here.