Netherland’s defender Virgil Van Dijk has joined five-time winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the three finalists for the FIFA best player award.

United States forward Megan Rapinoe is front runner for the women’s award.

The announcement of the final three in each category including best coach and best goalkeeper was made Monday at San Siro. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Milan’s iconic Scala theatre on Sept. 23.

Luka Modric who won the award last year after leading Croatia to the World Cup final, did not make the 10-man shortlist.

Van Dijk joined Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi after helping Liverpool win the Champion’s league title in June.

Rapinoe is competing against World Cup-winning teammate Alex Morgan and England forward Lucy Bronze.

All three of the finalists for the men’s coach award work in the Premier League: Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.

While Klopp won the Champions league with Liverpool and Guardiola steered city to a second straight Premier League title, Pochettino has never won a trophy in his managerial career although he did lead Tottenham to the Champions League final.

Liverpool also has a contender for the best goalkeeper award. Alisson up against City’s Ederson and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen.


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Aspiring journalist working for and exploring the juncture of sports, business and technology. Interested in sports economy and logistics of sports policy-making.

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