The race for who becomes the next FIFA Best Player of the Year Award has commenced after the names of 10 potential candidates were announced on Wednesday by the world football governing body.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Juventus), Frenkie De Jong (Holland/Barcelona), Matthijs de Ligt (Holland/Juventus), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Real Madrid), Harry Kane (England/Tottenham), Sadio Mane (Senegal/Liverpool), Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina/ Barcelona), Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool) and Virgil van Dijk (Holland/Liverpool) are shortlisted candidates for the award.
However, with only one candidate to be named the winner of the prestigious award in Milan on 23 September, there is no doubt that every aforementioned player would at this point want to step up their game.
Soccernet takes a close look at Ronaldo’s possibility of winning this year’s award.
Having won the FIFA Ballon d’Or five times (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017) and FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008, Ronaldo will be hoping to add this one to his cabinet of laurels.
There is no doubt that the Portuguese who joined the Italian club, Juventus ahead of the 2018-209 season had an impressive start to his new adventure. He was the key player in the team that won Supercoppa Italiana and Serie A this year.
He was club’s top scorer last season with 28 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions. Breaking down his goal statistics, Ronaldo scored 21 goals in 31 Serie A games, six goals in nine Champions League games, and other one goal.
Though Juventus were eliminated by Ajax in the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League, Ronaldo’s hattrick against Atletico Madrid in Round of 16 will be one of the performances that the fans will never forget.
The Old Lady had suffered a 2-0 loss in the Round of 16 first leg before he stepped up for the team and went on to score a hattrick. With his hattrick, Juventus witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in Juventus history.
He was also named Serie A Most Valuable Player of the season as well.
Ronaldo also led Portugal to the inaugural UEFA Nations League Trophy. He scored an impressive hat-trick against Switzerland in the semi-final to secure a place in the final. The host played the Netherlands in the final and won. In doing so, Ronaldo won his second international trophy after winning the Euro Cup in 2016.
Without mincing words, there is no player on the list that could boast of Ronaldo’s achievements for both club and country in the 2018-2019 season.
By and large, the Portuguese international remains one of the major contenders for the Best Player Award but then, he must maintain his brilliant form when the new season resume in Italy to cart home the award.