Australian football superstar Sam Kerr has been shortlisted to win the FIFA award for best women’s player for a third consecutive year.
The Matildas captain was one of 11 players on the shortlist released by the world governing body on Wednesday, with the awards to be presented on December 17.
Kerr joined Chelsea late last last year, before the second half of the FA Women’s Super League campaign, and was part of the side that won three trophies – the league, League Cup and Community Shield.
Among Kerr’s 10 rivals for best women’s player award are two Blues teammates, five players from European and French champions Lyon – including captain Wendie Renard – and Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema of the Netherlands.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski leads the contenders for the men’s player of the year gong.
The Poland star was top scorer for Bayern in the Champions League (15 goals) and the Bundesliga (34), and was a firm favourite for the Ballon d’Or award before it was scrapped this year for the first time in its 64-year history because of coronavirus.
Lewandowski’s former teammate and current Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara was also nominated along with annual regulars – Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
Joining them on the shortlist are Champions League runners-up Paris Saint-Germain’s forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe while Liverpool’s Premier League winning trio of Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane also made the cut.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, the Premier League’s player of the year last season, also made the shortlist as did Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa was named on the five-man shortlist for men’s coach of the year.
Argentine Bielsa was an eye-catching inclusion having led Leeds to the Championship title to end their long Premier League absence.
Hans Flick, who took charge of Bayern in November 2019 and went on to win the treble, Liverpool’s Juergen Klopp, Real’s Zinedine Zidane and Sevilla’s Europa League-winning coach Julen Lopetegui make up the coaching nominees.
Lyon’s Jean-Luc Vasseur is nominated for the best women’s coach along with Chelsea’s Emma Hayes and last year’s runner-up Sarina Wiegman of the Netherlands.
Wiegman was recently appointed England women’s new coach and will replace Phil Neville in September 2021.