Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah is among the contenders for the award. — AFP
Ten members of Manchester City’s Champions League-winning squad, Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane, Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham, and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah are among the 30 contenders for Best Men’s Player award at the annual Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, it was announced on Tuesday.
The awards ceremony will take place alongside the 18th Dubai International Sports Conference on January 19 at the Atlantis, The Palm
The 14th edition of the star-studded awards and the popular Dubai International Sports Conference will host an array of football stars from past and present.
While the 30-player longlist for the best male player is dominated by the biggest names plying their trades in Europe, Cristiano Ronaldo of Al Nassr and Lionel Messi of Inter Miami are also among the nominations.
In the Best Women’s Player award category, Spain’s World Cup winner Aitana Bonmati, Chelsea’s Sam Kerr, and German great Alexandra Popp are among 20 nominees, while Best Women’s Club award contenders include Champions League holders Barcelona and six-time Women’s Super League champions Chelsea.
Manchester City are joined by the likes of Napoli, Al Ahly, Al Ittihad, and Fluminense in the Best Men’s Club nominations.
City’s treble-winning manager Pep Guardiola leads the nominations for Best Coach award, alongside the likes of Marcel Koller, the Swiss who led Al Ahly to a five-trophy clean sweep in just 10 months, and Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti, the most decorated coach in Champions League history with four titles.
The Maradona Award for the calendar year’s top goal-scorer will be contested by Haaland, Kane, Ronaldo, and Kylian Mbappe, who are all separated by only a handful of goals with less than six weeks left in the season.
With Ronaldo’s stunning transfer to Saudi Arabia hurling regional football narratives into the global spotlight, this year will see the introduction of two Middle East award categories.
The Portuguese forward headlines a 12-player list for the inaugural Best Middle East Player award after a remarkable start to life in the Saudi Pro League, while Best Middle East Club includes eight nominations, including Al Hilal, Al Ahly, and Ronaldo’s Al Nassr.
With online voting opening on Tuesday to recognise performances throughout the 2023 calendar year, football fans worldwide can have their say on who should be shortlisted for 11 of the 16 main categories, as well as four digital awards, by voting at vote.globesoccer.com until December 7.
Shortlists are then voted on between December 12 and 28 both by fans and Globe Soccer’s Official Jury, made up of more than 30 key football industry figures, including Francesco Totti, Iker Casillas, Luis Figo, and Marcello Lippi.
“Since their launch, the Dubai International Sports Conference and the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards – introduced in 2006 and 2010 respectively – have evolved into a global platform loyally followed around the world, growing every year,” said Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of Dubai Sports Council.
“They each play a pivotal role in fostering the development of the sport globally while highlighting the achievements of distinguished players, coaches, and decision-makers. To welcome so many of football’s most prominent names to Dubai underlines the enduring attraction of the emirate, while also celebrating the progress of football in the region and the world – something that is further strengthened by the launch of the two new region-specific awards this year.”