Dubai: Ten members of Manchester City’s Uefa Champions League-winning squad, Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane, Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah are among the 30 contenders for Best Men’s Player at the annual Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, which will take place alongside the 18th Dubai International Sports Conference in partnership with Dubai Sports Council on January 19.
The 14th edition of the star-studded awards and the popular Dubai International Sports Conference will host an array of football stars from past and present. While the 30-player longlist for the best male player is dominated by the biggest names plying their trades in Europe, Cristiano Ronaldo of Al Nassr and Lionel Messi of Inter Miami are also among the nominations.
Five-trophy clean sweep
In the Best Women’s Player category, Spain’s World Cup winner Aitana Bonmati, Chelsea’s Sam Kerr, and German great Alexandra Popp are among 20 nominees, while Best Women’s Club includes Champions League holders Barcelona and six-time Women’s Super League champions Chelsea. Manchester City are joined by the likes of Napoli, Al Ahly, Al Ittihad and Fluminense in the Best Men’s Club nominations.
City’s treble-winning manager Pep Guardiola leads the nominations for Best Coach, alongside the likes of Marcel Koller, the Swiss who led Al Ahly to a five-trophy clean sweep in just 10 months, and Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti, the most decorated coach in Uefa Champions League history having won the trophy a record four times. The Maradona Award for the calendar year’s top goalscorer, meanwhile, is being hotly contested by Erling Haaland, Kane, Ronaldo, and Kylian Mbappe, who are all separated by only a handful of goals with less than six weeks left of 2023.
With Ronaldo’s stunning transfer to Saudi Arabia hurling regional football narratives into the global spotlight, this year will see the introduction of two Middle East award categories. The Portuguese forward headlines a 12-player list for the inaugural Best Middle East Player after a remarkable start to life in the Saudi Pro League, while Best Middle East Club includes eight nominations, including Al Hilal, Al Ahly, and Ronaldo’s Al Nassr.
Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of Dubai Sports Council, said: “Since their launch, the Dubai International Sports Conference and the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards — introduced in 2006 and 2010 respectively — have evolved into a global platform, growing every year. They each play a pivotal role in fostering the development of the sport globally while highlighting the achievements of distinguished players, coaches, and decision-makers. To welcome so many of football’s most prominent names to Dubai underlines the enduring attraction of the emirate, while also celebrating the progress of football in the region and the world — something that is further strengthened by the launch of the two new region-specific awards this year.”
Tommaso Bendoni, Founder and CEO of Globe Soccer, added: “Our partnership with Dubai Sports Council remains invaluable to the ongoing expansion of the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, and this year’s ceremony has an unforgettable home at the world-famous Atlantis, The Palm. The voice of the fans has always been very important to us, and we have heeded their requests with the launch of our new app, where fans around the world can vote for 11 main awards and in a further four digital categories, selecting from more than 220 nominees across Africa, Australia, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. We are eternally proud that the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards reflects a true representation of the global game — from the world’s capital of Dubai.”