World football’s finest footballers are currently in contention for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, with the final shortlist having been named ahead of December’s 2020 ceremony.
In the unprecedented absence of the Ballon d’Or, the award shapes as arguably the most prestigious individual accolade of the calendar year with a number of leading names in the mix to succeed Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and scoop the honour.
Voting will take place between fans, journalists and national team coaches and captains with the winner of the award – formally known as the FIFA World Player of the Year – set to be announced in Switzerland on December 17.
So for those of you who like to follow the odds and keep up to date with the best bookmakers offers from sites like bookmakers.bet, here are the five favourites to be named as a The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2020:
Kevin De Bruyne – 20/1
Kevin De Bruyne is ranked as the fifth favourite to claim the prize following a stunning individual season at Manchester City, equalling the Premier League’s single season assist record to be named as the PFA Player of the Year.
De Bruyne was a cut above the competition in English football despite City’s runners-up finish, providing a huge 33 goal involvements for Pep Guardiola’s side after adding 13 goals to his record-equalling 20 assists.
Kevin De Bruyne's 2019-20 Premier League campaign:
❍ Most assists
❍ Most goals+assists
❍ Most through balls
❍ Most chances created
❍ Most Big Chances created
❍ Most open-play chances created
❍ Most goals scored from outside the box
Squawka's Player of the Season. 👑 pic.twitter.com/QsQYrce3yn
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 7, 2020
The Belgium international helped City to League Cup success and established himself as arguably the best midfielder in world football, De Bruyne an irreplaceable figure in a side that will be looking to end their wait for a maiden Champions League title this season.
Kylian Mbappe – 16/1
Paris Saint-Germain’s superstar forward enjoyed another prolific campaign for the Parisian outfit, scoring 30 goals in all competitions despite a curtailed campaign to finish as the leading scorer in France for a second successive season.
Mbappe’s goals helped PSG continue their domestic dominance as Thomas Tuchel’s side won a domestic quadruple, sealing their seventh title in the past eight seasons and adding the Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and The Trophée des Champions to a burgeoning silverware cabinet.
The France international starred in tandem with the likes of Neymar and Angel Di Maria as PSG also reached a first ever Champions League final, scoring five goals during the club’s run to the showpiece in Lisbon.
Their hopes of a historic quintuple were ultimately ended with a narrow defeat to Bayern Munich’s treble-winning side, though it was another impressive season for the 21-year-old who has remarkably scored 99 goals in just 136 appearances for PSG.
Lionel Messi – 10/1
Lionel Messi finished ahead of Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award last year, though is a distant 10/1 to retain the prestigious accolade following Barcelona’s disappointing campaign.
The Catalan side surrendered their Spanish league title to Real Madrid and crashed out of the Champions League in embarrassing fashion to Bayern Munich, though Messi enjoyed yet another stellar season on a personal level.
The Argentina international became just the second player in the history of Europe’s top five leagues to register 20+ goals and 20+ assists in the same season, matching the feat of Arsenal’s Thierry Henry in 2002/03 and breaking the La Liga assists record with 21.
His 25 goals also saw Messi finish as Spanish football’s leading scorer to win a record seventh Pichichi Trophy, eclipsing the landmark of legendary Athletic Bilbao forward Telmo Zarra who won the last of his six awards in 1953.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 6/1
Juventus continued their dominance of Italian football with an eighth consecutive league title last season, their Serie A success fired by another goal-laden campaign from Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese international remains one the game’s very finest footballers despite turning 35 earlier this year, scoring 31 goals in just 33 league appearances for the Bianconeri last season.
Ronaldo also became the first European player to reach a century of international goals in September, with the forward now just eight goals short of eclipsing Iran’s Ali Daei as the greatest goalscorer in the history of international football.
Ronaldo has begun the new season in brilliant fashion and has scored eight times in just five appearances in Serie A so far this season, whilst he recently netted the 750th goal of his career during a Champions League clash against Dynamo Kyiv.
Robert Lewandowski – 1/3
The odds-on favourite to be crowned as the world’s best footballer later this month, Robert Lewandowski has enjoyed a phenomenal year of both team and individual success.
Lewandowski has been arguably the best player on the planet for the past 18 months, scoring 55 goals in all competitions last season to fire Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League treble.
The Poland international incredibly finished as the leading scorer in each of those competitions, finishing as the Bundesliga’s top scorer for a fifth time and being named as the division’s Player of the Season.
His form on the Champions League stage was even better, scoring 15 goals and providing six assists – both leading landmarks in the competition – as Bayern became the first side in history to lift the trophy having won every single fixture.
The 31-year-old continues to shine as the best number nine in football at present, having scored 15 goals in 14 appearances so far this season, the prolific Pole well on his way to scoring 40+ goals in all competitions for a sixth consecutive season.