World Football Summit/AS Player of the Year awards: finalists confirmed
We now know the nominees for the Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year awards presented by World Football Summit and AS.
The finalists have been confirmed for the Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year awards handed out jointly by World Football Summit (WFS) and AS.
Lewandowski, Kimmich and Messi up for men's award
In the men’s section, the three footballers chosen by AS.com users and a WFS/AS jury are Robert Lewandowski, the favourite for the accolade, his Bayern Munich team-mate Joshua Kimmich and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, who was among the three top-rated players among AS readers, was finally edged off the podium after the WFS/AS jury vote.
Hermoso, Harder and Renard battle for women's prize
Up for the women’s award, meanwhile, are Barcelona and Spain’s Jenni Hermoso, Chelsea's Danish international Pernille Harder - who scored 38 goals for Wolfsburg last season and is the frontrunner for the award - and France’s Wendy Renard, a Champions League winner with Lyon in 2019/20.
Award winners revealed on 16 November
The fan vote is worth 25% of the overall ballot, while the WFS/AS jury’s choices count for 75%. On the jury are: AS editor-in-chief Vicente Jiménez; AS honorary president Alfredo Relaño; AS columnist Santiago Segurola; AS senior editor María Jesús Luengo; El País sports editor José Sámano; AS journalist Aritz Gabilondo; AS México editor Alejandro Gómez; AS columnist Axel Torres; AS microsites editor Carmen Colino; Dani Garrido, the presenter of Cadena SER radio programme Carrusel Deportivo; AS journalist Mayca Jiménez; Manu Carreño, the presenter of Cadena SER radio programme El Larguero; AS Colombia editor Sarah Castro; AS journalist Aimara Garteizgoxeascoa Gil; and AS Chile editor Mario Brisso.
The winners will be announced on Monday 16 November, with the awards presented on 27 November in a virtual ceremony that will be streamed live on AS.com. The WFS/AS Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year prizes are part of the WFS Industry Awards, which are to be handed out during the WFS Live conference held between 23 and 27 November.
Men’s nominees: the lowdown
The striker, 32, was last season’s top scorer in the Champions League (15 goals in 10 appearances) and the Bundesliga (34 in 31), as Bayern won both competitions. Lewandowski was also named Bundesliga MVP and UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, contributing to the Poland international’s status as the favourite for the WFS/AS award.
In addition to Lewandowski’s goals, a major factor in Bayern’s trophy triumphs last term was the influence of Joshua Kimmich, who pulled the strings in the Bavarian side - not only when operating as a midfielder, but also as a right-back, a position from which he set up Kingsely Coman’s winning goal in the Champions League final.
Messi, 33, was top scorer in LaLiga for the seventh time in his career last season after hitting 25 top-flight goals for Barça. Although the Blaugrana ended the campaign empty-handed, the forward continued to shine, also finishing up as the league’s leading assist provider, with 22.
Women’s nominees: the lowdown
A legend of the women’s game. The 30-year-old forward is considered one of the best players ever produced in Spain and last term led Barcelona to their fifth Liga Iberdrola title, netting 23 times to finish the season as the league’s top scorer.
Harder was named 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, becoming the first footballer ever to lift the award twice. The Denmark forward, who joined Chelsea from Wolfsburg in the summer, bagged an incredible 38 goals as the Germans claimed the domestic title and reached the final of the Champions League.
One of the stars of the French national team, the 30-year-old Lyon captain is the only defender among the six men’s and women’s finalists. She was not only crucial at the back for Lyon last term, but also chipped in with vital goals that helped her side to Champions League glory.