It’s that time of year when voting opens for FIFA’s annual ‘The Best’ award, and it’s perhaps not surprising that Man City players dominate the 12 nominations which also include the likes of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.
The Frenchman was a losing World Cup finalist despite scoring a hat-trick, while his then Paris Saint-Germain team-mate, Lionel Messi, captained a successful Argentina side to the title for the first time since Diego Maradona single-handedly took on the world in 1986.
Other players that have made the final dozen (per BBC Sport) are Serie A conquerors, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen from Napoli, Marcelo Brozovic (formerly of Inter, now Al Nassr) and Declan Rice from Arsenal.
None can match the roll call from Pep Guardiola’s treble-winning side, however.
With City dominating at home and abroad, it was a foregone conclusion that a number of their players would be up for the game’s biggest individual prizes.
All of Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan (now at Barcelona), Rodri and Bernardo Silva will believe that they have a chance of beating favourite, Messi, to the crown.
Whether anyone believes these types of award are anything other than tactical voting for friends or is actually given to the world’s best player on a given year is a moot point.
In any event, the winner of the award will likely also take home the Ballon d’Or unless there happens to be a huge surprise.