Virgil van Dijk talked up the importance of Liverpool's win over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.

The European champions claimed the trophy with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win in Istanbul, where the Premier League clubs drew 2-2 on Wednesday.

The significance of the trophy has been questioned, but Van Dijk said winning silverware was crucial for Liverpool's progress.

"It's incredibly important," the star defender said, via the Mirror.

"I do think it's really important – for the progress of the team, for our development. Winning a trophy is important for your mentality. We did it the hard way."

Sadio Mane cancelled out Olivier Giroud's opener and also put Liverpool ahead in extra time, only for a Jorginho penalty to lead to the shoot-out.

Adrian, on his first Liverpool start, was the hero, making the only save from Tammy Abraham to see Jurgen Klopp's men to victory.

"It was definitely a dream – a dream to win trophies," Van Dijk said. "And I think before I joined, in my decision I set my goals, and these things were part of my goals – winning trophies was part of my decision.

"You take every opportunity you have to win a trophy. That is always the goal, and winning makes it a little bit easier the next time.

"We would have liked to have done it easier, we wanted to do it like we did better in the second half, but the winning is the important thing at the end. It is good to have that mentality."

Liverpool will be aiming for their second straight win to start the Premier League season when they visit Southampton on Saturday.

Champions League winner Virgil van Dijk is joined by Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo on the three-man shortlist for UEFA's Player of the Year award.

Van Dijk played a vital role in Liverpool's successful European campaign, playing 12 times en route to lifting the trophy.

As well as the UEFA recognition, he is also expected to be a major contender for the 2019 Ballon d'Or, as is Messi.

Barcelona reached the semi-finals before being eliminated by Liverpool, but Messi still managed to enjoy a fine Champions League campaign.

The Argentina star scored 12 goals – including two against the Reds at Camp Nou – from 10 matches.

Ronaldo's inclusion is rather more surprising, given Juventus were eliminated by Ajax in the quarter-finals.

The Portugal attacker scored a respectable six times in nine matches, but that was an unspectacular impact compared to his 15-goal haul in 12 outings the season before.

The shortlist was selected by a jury of 80 coaches from clubs involved in the Champions League and Europa League group stages, plus 55 journalists from UEFA's 55 member associations.

One of the three players will be presented with the award on August 29, during the Champions League group stage draw ceremony.

Virgil van Dijk expects to confront a different Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup to the Eden Hazard-inspired side that troubled Liverpool last season.

Hazard scored a thrilling winner when the Blues prevailed 2-1 in an EFL Cup tie at Anfield in September and opened the scoring in a 1-1 Premier League draw three days later.

The star winger has since left for Real Madrid and his former club slumped to a 4-0 defeat at Manchester United in Frank Lampard's first competitive match in charge.

Netherlands defender Van Dijk denied Hazard's exit would mean Liverpool are set for an easier route to victory on Wednesday.

"[Hazard] is a quality player and he was important to them but I think they have plenty of quality players," Van Dijk told reporters.

"I think they play a little bit different than they did last year.

"We will analyse them and then we will be prepared.

"Nothing that happened last season will have any impact on what is going to happen. It is the next game. It is going to be a new game.

"They have a new situation at the club there but we want to do better than we did last year and we will see."

Liverpool head into the match without first-choice goalkeeper Alisson, who injured his calf against Norwich.

New signing Adrian will step into the starting XI and Van Dijk believes the former West Ham gloveman is ready for the occasion.

"I think he played many big games in his career so I don't think he is going to be nervous or anything," the centre-back said.

"It is just that he has to do his job with us and hopefully we can win the trophy in the end."

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk insisted his £75million price tag was never an issue after the world-record fee for a defender was broken earlier this month.

Van Dijk made the move from Southampton to Liverpool in January 2018, the huge transfer fee initially raising eyebrows.

But the Netherlands international helped the Premier League giants win the Champions League last season and has emerged as a Ballon d'Or contender.

However, the world-record fee was broken after Manchester United paid Leicester City £80m for England centre-back Harry Maguire earlier this month.

Van Dijk, whose side face Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday, played down the significance of the fees.

"It wasn't a big issue for me. It's something you don't have an influence on," he told a news conference.

"It happens, it's the market and the only thing you can do is put your head down and start playing, give everything for the team.

"That's what I did and it worked so far, I'll just try to keep doing that, keep progressing and be a better player."

European champions Liverpool will go into their clash against Chelsea as favourites, having opened their Premier League season with a 4-1 win over Norwich City as Frank Lampard's men were humbled 4-0 by United.

Van Dijk is eager for Jurgen Klopp's side to win the trophy for Liverpool for the first time since 2005.

"I think it could work in both favours, they know us, we know them, but the most important thing is it's one game, one final, anything could happen," he said.

"We know at the start of the season everyone's coming back from having a break. We are ready, we want to win that trophy and we're going to do everything that's possible to hold the trophy."

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane insists he will be ready to start Wednesday's UEFA Super Cup clash with Chelsea.

Mane returned to training last Monday after being given a 16-day break following Senegal's run to the Africa Cup of Nations final, where they were beaten 1-0 by Algeria.

The 27-year-old missed the whole of Liverpool's pre-season campaign, including the penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester City in the Community Shield, but he was back as a second-half substitute against Norwich City.

After getting 16 minutes under his belt in the 4-1 win at Anfield, Mane vowed he is raring to go against Chelsea in Istanbul.

"I think I am ready. Tiredness I think is here [pointing to his head]," he said at a news conference on the eve of Wednesday's match.

"For sure I have been playing for a long time. I don't think I've had a holiday of more than 20 days in seven years.

"I'm used to it. For sure, I'm ready. I'm here. Let's do it!"

Liverpool's victory against Norwich came at a cost as Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who also missed a large part of pre-season because of international commitments, pulled up with a calf injury that will see him miss the rest of the month.

Recently-signed Adrian will step in for Alisson at the Vodafone Arena and he was backed to impress on his first start for the Reds by new team-mate Virgil van Dijk.

"Adrian has been in now for his second week. We have been working day in, day out," Van Dijk told reporters.

"For him it’s obviously very good that he starts playing straight away. It’s not the situation you hope to be in, that Alisson is injured and you have to come in.

"But he’s experienced enough to go out there and show his qualities because he has plenty of quality. He played for so many years in the Premier League and we could already see in training how good he can be.

"He needs our support - we all do it together, we defend together. We need him there, he needs us as well. He will definitely do the job."

Chelsea forward Pedro has compared Virgil van Dijk to Spain team-mate Sergio Ramos ahead of Chelsea's UEFA Super Cup meeting with Liverpool.

Frank Lampard's side, winners of the Europa League under Maurizio Sarri last season, take on Champions League holders Liverpool in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Van Dijk played a pivotal role as the Red became champions of Europe for the sixth time and finished second in the Premier League with a record 97 points.

The centre-back was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year for his performances in the top flight and Pedro sees similarities between the Netherlands star and Real Madrid captain Ramos.

"They are very good central defenders, probably at this time at the top," he said.

"Sergio Ramos is very good. I know him very well: great defender, great with the ball. Van Dijk is also the same: so strong, very good in the air, scores goals. Two big players.

"He's in a good moment. Last season with Liverpool, he had a great season winning the Champions League and the best player in the premier league. He's in a good moment and he's a good defender."

Pedro hopes to get the better of Van Dijk and Liverpool to secure a win what would represent his fourth UEFA Super Cup triumph, having lifted the trophy three times with Barcelona.

The 32-year-old thinks silverware this early in the season can only be good for Chelsea's confidence, especially in light of their 4-0 league defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

"It's another trophy, it's good when you start the season winning a trophy – it's good for confidence, for the future," he said.

"Liverpool are a strong team with great players, a solid team, good on the counter. We need to read the game well, stay compact all the time and when we create chances we need to score if we want to win.

"It's my fourth Super Cup final. I was lucky enough to win the last three. I have good memories of the last final [in 2015]. The important thing is the mentality: to stay strong, stay compact."

Virgil van Dijk believes goalkeeper Adrian's extensive Premier League experience will help him easily adjust to replacing the injured Alisson at Liverpool.

The Reds are awaiting the results of a scan after their first-choice keeper injured his calf in Friday's season-opening victory over Norwich City.

Jurgen Klopp admitted the problem "does not look too good" and ruled the Brazil international out of the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea in Istanbul on Wednesday.

A prolonged absence would heighten the pressure on deputy Adrian, who left West Ham on a free at the end of last season after making 150 appearances in all competitions.

The 32-year-old only joined Liverpool four days before his debut but defender Van Dijk says his new team-mate is up to the challenge.

"I think he's at that kind of age, that stage of his life and career that he can come in and slot in to the team pretty easy," Van Dijk told reporters.

"He's been through so many things in the Premier League he can just slot in pretty easy."

Liverpool could be forced to tinker with their playing style if Adrian is thrust into the starting XI for an extended period.

Alisson started every Premier League match last season and generates attacking moves with his ability to pass out from the back.

"He's very important for us, but I have no idea what the actual damage is," Van Dijk said.

"We'll see over the next days what the outcome is going to be. We have to deal with it and we're going to deal with it."

Liverpool kicked off the new Premier League season with a convincing 4-1 victory over Norwich City at Anfield on Friday.

Last season's record-breaking runners-up Liverpool wasted no time in setting about getting maximum points, with Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk adding to Grant Hanley's comical own goal within the opening 30 minutes.

Divock Origi made it four in the 42nd minute on his 100th Reds appearance but Jurgen Klopp's side were unable to add to their tally and Teemu Pukki netted a consolation strike for the newly promoted side.

However, the real sour note for Liverpool was the loss of goalkeeper Alisson, who had to be replaced by debutant Adrian in the first half after appearing to sustain a hamstring injury taking a goal-kick.

Liverpool got off to a flying start when Origi's cross from the left wing was diverted into the back of the net by Norwich captain Hanley in the seventh minute.

Marco Stiepermann wasted a second decent chance to get the Canaries on the board and they were punished when Roberto Firmino teed up Salah to slide a cool finish past Tim Krul.

Norwich continued to threaten but Van Dijk made light work of shaking off Jamal Lewis to power in a header from Salah's corner.

Despite losing Alisson to injury, Liverpool remained in the ascendancy and took a four-goal lead into half-time when Origi nodded Trent Alexander-Arnold's fine delivery home.

Krul tipped a shot from Jordan Henderson onto the crossbar early in the second half and, after Salah kept the ball alive and played in Alexander-Arnold with a delightful backheel, Firmino was unable to convert from the England defender's cutback.

Moritz Leitner rattled the upright with a swerving effort as the Canaries regained some courage and they were rewarded when Pukki found the bottom-left corner from Emiliano Buendia's incisive throughball.

Alexander-Arnold's powerful free-kick was saved well by Krul in the 85th minute and Adrian kept out Onel Hernandez in stoppage time as Liverpool comfortably saw out a routine victory.


What does it mean? Liverpool off to a flyer

Liverpool wasted no time in signalling their intent this season. Their rapid start saw them score three goals in the opening half hour of a Premier League game for the first time since February 2014, when they hit four in that timeframe in a 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal.   Had Stiepermann and Pukki taken the early chances that came their way, however, it could have been a very different story.

Origi steps up

His Champions League heroics last season earned Origi a new Liverpool contract and the chance for an increased role in 2019-20. With Klopp not introducing Sadio Mane, who only returned after his exploits with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations on Monday, until the 74th minute, the Belgium international proved he can be relied upon by creating two chances in addition to his goal.


Blunders at the back

After Hanley's miskick ended up in the back of his own net, a fortunate ricochet as Norwich failed to clear their lines ended with Salah doubling Liverpool's advantage. Sloppy defending from full-backs Lewis and Max Aarons then enabled Van Dijk and Origi to increase the gap and the game was effectively over before half-time.


What's next?

Liverpool head to Istanbul to take on Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday, while Norwich will try to pick themselves up at home to Newcastle United next Saturday.

Liverpool made a rapid start to the new Premier League season at home to Norwich City on Friday, scoring three times inside the opening 30 minutes for the first time in over five years.

The crowd at Anfield were treated to goals from Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk after Grant Hanley inadvertently sent Divock Origi's cross into his own net in the seventh minute.

With Salah sliding a cool finish past Tim Krul in the 19th minute and Van Dijk powering home a header nine minutes later, Liverpool were three goals to the good in the opening half hour of a Premier League match for the first time since February 2014.

On that occasion the Reds had four inside 20 minutes, with Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge notching after Martin Skrtel's early double in a 5-1 thrashing against Arsenal.

Liverpool went into half-time against Norwich at Anfield leading 4-0, with Origi heading in a sumptuous right-wing delivery from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and five Liverpool players have been shortlisted for 2018-19 Champions League positional awards. 

Liverpool defeated Tottenham in the Champions League final and have seen goalkeeper Alisson, defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk, midfielder Jordan Henderson and forward Sadio Mane named among the contenders in their respective categories.

Tottenham also have representation through keeper Hugo Lloris and midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Barcelona superstar Messi, who was the top scorer in last season's competition with 12 goals, will vie with Mane and old adversary Ronaldo for the forward award.

Midfielder Frenkie de Jong and defender Matthijs de Ligt – who are now at Barcelona and Juventus respectively – were also nominated after playing pivotal roles in Ajax's run to the semi-finals.

The awards will be presented during the 2019-20 Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 29 August.

The shortlisting jury comprised the coaches of the 32 clubs from last season's group stage and journalists from each of UEFA's 55 member associations.

 

Full list of nominees for 2018-19 Champions League position awards:
  
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur); Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona).
 
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax, now Juventus), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool).
 
Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (Ajax, now Barcelona), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).
 
Forwards: Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus).

Manchester United "caved in" during negotiations to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City, according to football finance expert Kieran Maguire.

England centre-back Harry Maguire agreed a six-year deal at Old Trafford, joining Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side for a reported fee of £80million - a world record for a defender.

The transfer sparked widespread debate about the size of the fee, with Liverpool's £75m centre-back Virgil van Dijk warning "the price comes with pressure".

Kieran Maguire, senior teacher in accountancy at the University of Liverpool, believes Leicester made the most of having the upper hand in talks.

"In terms of the price paid for Harry Maguire, Leicester were in an excellent negotiating position," he told Omnisport.

"They know Manchester United are desperate to get back into the Champions League positions, Harry Maguire was on a long-term contract, Leicester didn't need to sell.

"Therefore, they were able to reject all of the initial offers and hold back until we're nearly at the end of the transfer window, and United caved in."

Kieran Maguire thinks huge fees for defensive players will become increasingly common as clubs use detailed analysis to ascertain the value of having a solid rearguard that can also help build attacks.

He said: "Many companies these days are using big data, and they can see that the value of having a solid defence can make a significant difference to your end of season haul of points.

"As a consequence of that they've started to invest in defenders, when historically the focus would have been on attacking players.

"I think what we've seen over the course of the last couple of years is that the price of goalkeepers has gone up as clubs have realised that actually they want to play 11-man football, so they're using goalkeepers who are competent with their feet.

"But also they're looking for defenders who can bring the ball out, who can link up with the rest of the team as opposed to being merely a player who could clear the ball. So therefore somebody like Harry Maguire, who is a ball-playing defender, carries a premium price."

Virgil van Dijk warned Harry Maguire that his move to Manchester United means pressure after becoming the world's most expensive defender.

Maguire swapped Leicester City for Premier League giants United in a world-record deal reportedly worth £80million following months of speculation.

The England international, who signed a six-year contract with the option of a further season at Old Trafford, and his transfer to United is believed to have surpassed the £75m Liverpool paid Southampton for Van Dijk in January 2018.

Van Dijk, who led Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2018-19, knows the pressure associated with huge price tags and he had advice for Maguire.

"Good luck to him," he said. "I can't say anything about that because there was always going to be a time when it was going to change.

"That's the market. He doesn't have any influence on that but I wish him well. The price comes with pressure, but it doesn't change too much because you always have pressure at big clubs like Man United. But I wish him well."

"Just focus on doing what you love to do and play your best game," Van Dijk said when asked how he coped with the pressure of a hefty price tag. "Get your qualities out of the pitch, enjoy your game and don't think about the other things.

"It is not easy to completely shut off all the pressure. Personally, I like to put things in perspective. Quite a lot of things are more important than playing football and what we do, we are blessed.

"We can do what we love to do and also to play for Liverpool – they are such a big club. You need to enjoy it but the pressure will always be there."

Manchester United's bid to improve their backline has seen them make Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka two of the world's most-expensive defenders.

England defender Maguire has joined from Leicester City for a reported £80million, surpassing the record set by Liverpool's capture of Virgil van Dijk.

Earlier in this transfer window United spent £50m to acquire right-back Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace as they commenced a substantial rebuild of their squad.

Maguire has not cost United as much as their biggest signing Paul Pogba, who joined from Juventus in 2016 in a then-world record £89.3m deal, but he is the most expensive defender of all time.

Here, we profile the men at the back who have cost a fair whack.


HARRY MAGUIRE – Leicester City to Manchester United, £80m

The reported £80m fee is a serious outlay for a player who was playing for Hull City in the Championship three years ago.

It has been a rapid rise for Maguire, who is now first choice at the back for England alongside Manchester City defender John Stones. United will hope there is even more to come from the 26-year-old.

VIRGIL VAN DIJK – Southampton to Liverpool, £75m

Liverpool tried unsuccessfully to buy Van Dijk in June 2017 and were accused of tapping him up by Southampton, but the defender's absence from several matchday squads thereafter meant a departure was never far away.

The Reds gave their fans a late Christmas gift in December of the same year, confirming the Netherlands international's arrival and he has looked worth every penny since making the switch to Anfield, winning the Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year last term and helping the club clinch their sixth Champions League title.

LUCAS HERNANDEZ – Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich, £68m

Having featured as France's first-choice left-back in their triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign, it did not take long for other clubs to begin being linked with Hernandez. Bayern were reported to have things tied up with the defender by the end of the year, though it was said they were trying to avoid paying his full release clause.

As it happened, Atletico received the €80m required to trigger Lucas' exit at the end of the 2018-19 season, meaning Bayern secured themselves a player who can cover two positions for the next decade. 

MATTHIJS DE LIGT – Ajax to Juventus, £67.5m

United had been strongly linked with De Ligt earlier in the window but it was Juventus who won the race for his much-coveted signature for a fee that, with add-ons, could eventually rise to a sum similar to Van Dijk's price.

Despite still being a teenager, De Ligt's leadership qualities shone through when he was captain of the Ajax team that won a domestic double and reached the Champions League semi-finals last season.

AYMERIC LAPORTE – Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City, £57m

City had been put off by the fee Southampton wanted for Van Dijk but were more willing to part with what was - in January 2018 - a club-record £57m to sign left-sided French centre-back Laporte.

Though he curiously remains without a senior cap for Les Bleus, Laporte has become a key figure under Pep Guardiola and was City's best defender in 2018-19 as they won an unprecedented domestic treble.

BENJAMIN MENDY – Monaco to Manchester City, £51.75m

City broke the record for a defender when they signed Mendy from Monaco in July 2017, the left-back having quickly established himself as one of Europe's most exciting attacking full-backs as his side won the 2016-17 Ligue 1 title and reached that season's Champions League semi-finals.

His arrival was part of a spectacular overhaul of the City backline, which saw them spend close to £165m on three defenders and goalkeeper Ederson, but two serious knee injuries have badly hindered his time in Manchester so far. 

DAVID LUIZ – Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain, £50m

Paris Saint-Germain paid a whopping fee to sign Brazil international David Luiz from Chelsea in 2014.

He won Ligue 1 in both of his seasons at the Parc des Princes and made it three top-flight titles in a row after he surprisingly returned to Chelsea for £34m in August 2016, claiming his first Premier League winners' medal.

KYLE WALKER – Tottenham to Manchester City, £50m

When Walker joined Spurs from hometown club Sheffield United for £5m in 2009, few would have guessed he would one day become the most expensive English player in history.

Walker, who in June signed a new long-term deal at the Etihad Stadium, quickly established himself as a key component at the back following his July 2017 arrival and he has won two Premier League titles, two EFL Cups and an FA Cup.

AARON WAN-BISSAKA – Crystal Palace to Manchester United, £50m

Walker now has company as his country's most costly player following fellow right-back Wan-Bissaka's arrival on the other side of Manchester.

Wan-Bissaka fits the mould for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who wants young players to spearhead a revival at Old Trafford, and he made 129 tackles last term, more than any other defender across the top five European leagues.

JOHN STONES – Everton to Manchester City, £47.5m

City have certainly shown a willingness to pay large amounts for English talent, with Stones joining the club from Everton in 2016.

The 25-year-old had a difficult first campaign as Guardiola's side under-performed. His displays have since improved considerably, although he largely spent the final weeks of last season among the substitutes. 

(*Prices are as reported at the time of transfers being completed.)

Harry Maguire's imminent signing for Manchester United could prove to be a game-changer akin to Liverpool buying Virgil van Dijk, according to Anfield great Graeme Souness.

England international Maguire has long been linked with some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League, with United and Manchester City emerging as the front-runners following the conclusion of last season.

But after weeks of speculation, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed on Friday the Foxes and United had reached an agreement over a fee for the centre-back.

United are reported to be paying £80million, which will see Maguire usurp Liverpool star Van Dijk as the world's most expensive defender, having arrived at the Reds for an estimated £75m in January 2018.

Many baulked at the fee paid for Van Dijk at the time, but he was instrumental in turning Liverpool into Champions League winners and pushing City all the way in the Premier League title race last term.

And Liverpool icon Souness expects Maguire to have a huge impact at Old Trafford.

Speaking to Omnisport at Brighton and Hove Pride on behalf of PaddyPower, Souness said: "I'm a big fan, they're the best two centre-backs out there at this time.

"I really like Maguire. Anyone who gets him, well that's now United, he will improve them. Will it be five per cent, two per cent, 10 per cent?

"Van Dijk, along with the Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, they improved Liverpool enormously. All of a sudden, they weren't vulnerable at the back and that spreads throughout the team, and you become a far more solid unit.

"Liverpool are right now a team that doesn't have any obvious weaknesses. If you're playing against them, who do you target?

"I suppose United have to get back to being that, a team no one likes playing against. Certainly, last year people enjoyed playing against them because they were vulnerable.

"I suppose United will be hoping Maguire does a Van Dijk and brings them all along, makes everyone feel better about themselves and play better."

Graeme Souness was talking to Omnisport on behalf of PaddyPower's Come Out and Play campaign and Proud United, a team of LGBTQ footballers from across the United Kingdom working to tackle homophobia in football.

Antoine Griezmann and Neymar are not on the shortlist for The Best FIFA Men's Player award, with Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi up against Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard for this year's prize.

Griezmann completed his long-awaited €120million transfer to the Spanish champions in July but his 15-goal contribution to Atletico Madrid's second-place finish in the 2018-19 LaLiga table was not enough to impress FIFA's panel.

Liverpool trio Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk are in contention after helping the Reds to glory in last season's Champions League, while Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong have been recognised for their part in helping Ajax to the semi-finals and to a domestic title.

There is no place for 2018 winner and Ballon d'Or holder Luka Modric, nor his Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale, and Neymar misses out while Paris Saint-Germain colleague Kylian Mbappe is among the nominees.

 

 

The Best FIFA Men's Player nominees:

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
Frenkie De Jong (Barcelona)
Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)
Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Mohmed Salah (Liverpool)
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

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