Virgil van Dijk is once again a candidate to be named World Footballer of the Year. In contrast to the Ballon d‘Or (organised by the football magazine France Football), the FIFA Prize will be awarded in this year ridden by the coronapandemic.
Liverpool defender Van Dijk, who is currently recovering from a severe knee injury, finished last year at the FIFA election, which was held for the first time in 2016, second behind the Argentine Barcelona-vedette Lionel Messi.
For the title of 2020, based on their achievements in the period 20 July 2019 to 7 October 2020, ten players were nominated in addition to the captain of the Dutch team: twofold winner Cristiano Ronaldo (2016 and 2017), Thiago Alcántara, Kevin De Bruyne, Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mané, Kylian Mbappé, Sergio Ramos, Mohamed Salah, Neymar and Messi.
Two more Dutch contenders
Van Dijk is not the only Dutchman who is in the race for the honorary title. Among the women, Vivianne Miedema is among the contenders, while women’s football coach Sarina Wiegman complies for the award for best coach of a women‘s team.
Wiegman won the prize in 2017, the year in which she became European Champion with Orange, and was nominated in 2018 and 2019. Last year, she was trumped by American coach Jill Ellis, who had led Team USA to the world title.
Watch how Wiegman was chosen as the best coach of a women’s team at the FIFA GALA in London in 2017.
Through the FIFA World Football Association website, the nominees can be voted until 9 December, after which the list of candidates will be reduced to three names per category, also thanks to the input of journalists, federalists and leaders of national teams.
winners will be announced in Zurich on 17 December.