Best Fifa Football Awards: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola criticises shortlist


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has questioned the absence of his players on the shortlist for the 2019 Best Fifa Men’s Player award.

Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah are among the 10 nominated men.

City won the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Carabao Cup last season.

“Maybe we have to win five or six or get 250 points to be considered next season,” said Guardiola.

“I don’t think there is one player who had a better season than Bernardo Silva last season, even winning [the Nations League] with Portugal.

“These awards are normally when you win the Champions League. We were in the last stages and the other competitions do not count, are not important.”

Guardiola’s side also won the 2018 Community Shield but was eliminated by Spurs in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

No Manchester City player has ever won the PFA Player of the Year award, even though the team has won the Premier League in four of the past eight seasons.

In 2011-12, Arsenal’s Robin van Persie was the player of the season, two years later Liverpool’s Luis Suarez picked up the prize, with Salah and Van Dijk winning in 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.

“In eight years, winning four times the Premier League is quite good,” added Guardiola. “And never one player – not David [Silva], not Vincent [Kompany], not Yaya [Toure] – won, not even suggested.

“Huge respect for Mohamed Salah, but Kevin de Bryune that season, when we made 100 points [in 2017-18], was above and beyond the normal situations.

“I cannot imagine Real Madrid and Barcelona winning four titles and not one single player being there.”

Six City players were included in the 2018-19 PFA Team of the Year – goalkeeper Ederson, defender Aymeric Laporte, midfielders Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva and forwards Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling.

The shortlist for the Best Fifa Men’s Player was selected by a panel of former players and managers,and the result will be announced at an event in Milan on 23 September, following a public vote.

Full men’s player shortlist

Frenkie de Jong, Netherlands (Ajax, now Barcelona)

Matthijs de Ligt, Netherlands (Ajax, now Juventus)

Eden Hazard, Belgium (Chelsea, now Real Madrid)

Harry Kane, England (Tottenham)

Sadio Mane, Senegal (Liverpool)

Kylian Mbappe, France (Paris St-Germain)

Lionel Messi, Argentina (Barcelona)

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal (Juventus)

Mohamed Salah, Egypt (Liverpool)

Virgil van Dijk, Netherlands (Liverpool)

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