The high pressing Leeds United football mastermind and the Anfield Kop genius, Marcelo Bielsa and Jurgen Klopp have been named as part of a solid list for FIFA’s Men’s Coach of the Year Award.

Bielsa, who won the Championship in May this year with Leeds, was a surprise nominee for the Best FIFA Men’s Coach of the Year award, named alongside 2019/20 treble winner Bayern’s Hansi-Flick, Sevilla’s Julen Lopetgui, Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid and Liverpool’s Klopp.

Other awards are set to be presented on the grand occasion, include Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year, Best FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, Puskas Award for 2020’s Best Goal, Men’s and Women’s Best FIFA Goalkeeper awards.

Four Liverpool players make up a strong five-man Premier League unit shortlist for the Men’s Player of the Year, with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and summer signing Thiago Alcantara all included. Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne is named. Other world class male nominees are two-time winner, Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski, Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid and PSG duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Liverpool’s Alisson Becker is one of six contenders for the Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award. He is up against Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois, Keylor Navas of PSG, Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak and Marc-Andre ter Stergen of Barcelona.

As for the Best FIFA Women’s Player Award, five of 11 nominees all come from the Women’s Super League, with Chelsea leading the way with three players – strikers Pernille Harder and Sam Kerr are joined by South Korean midfielder Ji Soyun. England full-back Lucy Bronze, formerly of Lyon now with Manchester City and Arsenal and Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema make up the WSL cohort.

Other female contenders are Barcelona duo Caroline Graham Hansen and Jennifer Hermoso, as well as the 2019/20 Champions League winning Olympique Lyonnais quartet of: Delphine Cascarino, Saki Kumagai, Dzsenifer Marozsan and Wendie Renard.

The 2020 Best FIFA women’s award could produce either a European or a first Asian winner, the last European to win the female award was Dutch striker Lieke Martens in the 2017 edition.

Five goalkeepers are in the running for The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper Award: Ann-Katrin Berger of Chelsea Women, Champions League winner Sarah Bouhaddi of Olympique Lyonnais, Atletico Madrid Femenino’s Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl, Chicago Red Stars and US stopper Alyssa Naeher and Manchester City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck.

Rush Football’s take

With the grand FIFA Best Awards ceremony set for December 17, it will be the first of such an event to take place virtually due to the Covid pandemic.

Despite football being put on hold earlier this year in March, it all returned later in June and players did not have a lot of time to produce their best plays across Europe and abroad.

However, we are sure to witness another award-winning occasion. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will look to enhance his status in European football after his side’s Champions League triumph in 2019/20 campaign. The Pole won the 2020 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award not only winning the champions league but also domestic treble in Germany.

Three of Liverpool’s four nominees – Mane, Salah and Van Dijk – will be hoping that their performances leading to their first Premier League triumph will be enough to pick up the Male Award. Also, Spurs’ Son Heung Min is up for the Puskas Award 2020 for best goal after his amazing solo goal against Burnley in the Premier League from December last year.


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