The Best FIFA Football Awards™

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

Thursday 17 December 2020

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

The FIFA/FIFPro Men’s World11 – one year on

The FIFA FIFPro Men's World11 Award finalist
© Getty Images
  • How has the last year been for the FIFA/FIFPro Men’s World11 2019?
  • Some have suffered injury problems…
  • …while others are scoring for fun

The FIFA/FIFPro Men’s World11 2019 was unveiled in Milan in September last year – but how have these 11 players been getting on for the last 13 months or so? Have they had a good year? Have there been problems? And what are their chances of making another appearance in this year’s prestigious line-up?

Alisson (Goalkeeper, Liverpool)

It finally happened this summer. Alisson and Liverpool secured the Premier League title they had coveted for so long, having gone on a fantastic run of form before the season was interrupted COVID-19. The Brazilian also won the FIFA Club World Cup™ with the Reds shortly before scooping The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper. He also saved his first penalty for Liverpool in a 2-0 win over Chelsea in September 2020.

Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker and Fabinho of Liverpool celebrate with The Premier League trophy following the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on July 22, 2020 in Liverpool
© Getty Images

Matthijs de Ligt (Defender, Juventus)

Although De Ligt lifted the Serie A trophy with Juventus this summer, the team’s defeat by Lyon in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League took some of the shine off of their achievements. While he helped the Netherlands reach the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League by scoring a header in their semi-final win over England, they went on to lose to Portugal in the decider. Worse than that, he has been absent for Juve since undergoing a shoulder operation in August, though he is about to make his return to action.

Matthijs de Ligt of Juventus FC celebrates with the trophy after the Serie A match between Juventus and AS Roma 
© Getty Images

Marcelo (Defender, Real Madrid)

The second half of the 2019/20 season was less than ideal for the dynamic left-footer who helped Madrid to win La Liga for the first time since 2017 despite only playing in 15 league games. A series of minor injuries in recent months means that he has only made five appearances in all competitions so far this season and has been forced to spend much of his time watching from the bench.

Marcelo of Real Madrid looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group B stage match between Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk
© Getty Images

Sergio Ramos (Defender, Real Madrid)

Sergio Ramos, meanwhile, shows no sign of slowing down, even if he did miss two penalties in one match for the first time ever when Spain took on Switzerland last week. But he also made a more enduring piece of football history by overtaking Gigi Buffon to become the most-capped European player of all time, with 178 international appearances to his name. He is the standout performer for his club, where he won the league title last summer; they have lost six of their last seven Champions League matches without him, compared to just one of the last 12 games with him in the same competition.

Sergio Ramos of Spain looks on during the UEFA Nations League group stage match between Spain and Germany 
© Getty Images

Virgil van Dijk (Defender, Liverpool)

It is clear that Van Dijk is not having the best time right now, having been sidelined with a cruciate ligament injury since mid-October. The fact that his return is still several months away has caused dismay in the Liverpool camp, where the rangy Dutchman is the heart and soul of not only the back line but the team as a whole. This is backed up by the fact that he played the full 90 minutes in all 38 of his club’s league games during the 2019/20 season.

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool comes off due to an injury during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool 
© Getty Images

Frenkie de Jong (Midfielder, Barcelona)

After an exceptional season for Ajax, De Jong made the switch to Barcelona last summer and helped the Oranje to finish second in the first-ever UEFA Nations League. Although he was disappointed to come away empty-handed from his first season with Barça, he has become an indispensable part of the Blaugrana team. Prior to the international break, he was coach Ronald Koeman’s most-used player, completing 890 of the team’s 900 minutes on the pitch so far this season.

Frenkie de Jong of Netherlands battles for the ball with Koke of Spain during the international friendly match between Netherlands and Spain 
© Getty Images

Eden Hazard (Midfielder, Real Madrid)

The opposite is true for Hazard. Although the Belgian won the league with Madrid, various injuries limited him to just a few La Liga appearances during the campaign, while he missed their last-16 UEFA Champions League defeat by Manchester City with an ankle injury. Subsequent injuries have once again consigned him to the role of spectator at the start of the new 2020/21 season, where he has made only two Champions League appearances and played in just one league game, though he scored on that occasion.

Eden Hazard of Real Madrid CF reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B stage match between Real Madrid and FC Internazionale at Estadio Santiago Bernabe
© Getty Images

Luka Modric (Midfielder, Real Madrid)

The now 35-year-old Croatian, who was crowned The Best FIFA Men’s Player in 2018 to break Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s stranglehold on the award, won La Liga with Real Madrid in the summer and has played in all eight of their league matches so far this season. However, he has not notched up as many minutes in the UEFA Champions League. In October he scored his first El Clasico goal when Madrid won 3-1 away to Barcelona.

Luka Modric of Real Madrid celebrates
© Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo (Forward, Juventus)

Ronaldo continues to strive to add new records to his vast collection – he currently has 102 international goals to his name, bringing him ever closer to the men’s world record of 109 currently held by Ali Daei. After winning his second La Liga title with Juve in the summer of 2020, he currently has an impressive six goals from just four matches, needing only 17 minutes to score twice against Spezia at the start of November.

Kylian Mbappe (Forward, Paris Saint-Germain)

Although Mbappe reached the final of the UEFA Champions League with PSG this summer, they ultimately lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich, even though the young Frenchman had previously scored five goals and provided six assists in the competition. His start to the 2020/21 season can certainly be described as a success: with seven goals and five assists in six league matches, he has been involved in precisely two goals per game so far!

Lionel Messi (Forward, Barcelona)

While The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2019 can reflect on a personally successful 2019/20 season, having finished the league both as top goalscorer and with the highest number of assists, he and his team were unable to collect any silverware. He has notched up six goals and four assists in ten competitive games for his club during the current campaign.

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