The European football governing body, UEFA shortlists Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi and Van Dijk as the three candidates for the 2019 player of the year.
The winner of the award will be announced on August 29 in Monaco, France, as the three UEFA shortlisted players will be looking to have their names written in gold for their efforts last season. The event will be held during the Champions League group stage draw for the 2019-2020 season.
Messi and Ronaldo are still the record winners of the award, while Van Dijk who is making the shortlist for the first time, could also win it with his performance for Liverpool last season.
Argentine was the top scorer in the Champions League last season, while he also won LaLiga Santander with Barcelona.
Cristiano’s Portugal clinched the UEFA Nations League with him being the top scorer in the knockout stages, as well as winning the Serie A title in his debut season with Juventus.
Van Dijk, meanwhile, was a losing finalist in the UEFA Nations League, a few weeks after playing a vital role in Liverpool’s journey to Champions League glory.
In addition to the three UEFA shortlists, the other seven players who entered the top 10 are:
4 Alisson Becker (BRA / Liverpool) – 57 points
5 Sadio Mane (SEN / Liverpool) – 51 points
6 Mohamed Salah (EGY / Liverpool) – 49 points
7 Eden Hazard (BEL / Chelsea-Real Madrid and Belgium) – 38 points
8 Matthijs de Ligt (HOL / Ajax-Juventus) – 27 points
8 Frenkie de Jong (HOL / Ajax-Barcelona) – 27 points
10 Raheem Sterling (ENG / Manchester City) – 12 points.