Monday July 28 will see the seventh edition of the global award revealed, but how is the list decided and what factors are considered?
|GOAL 50 PAST WINNERS
The Goal 50, now entering its seventh year, is our way of celebrating the stars of our sport.
Unlike other awards, the Goal 50 is voted for by passionate football journalists from across the globe. Our 35 local editions and 600 experts carefully consider who have been the best. There's no politics involved and no lobbying. This is the purest and fairest football award out there.
Votes are cast from every region - no stone is left un-turned - ensuring that no deserving player misses out on the final list regardless of club, country, age or position.
Players cannot rest on their laurels to make it into the Goal 50. Low-profile players receive as much attention as the big names with lucrative sponsorship deals.
The current holder of the Goal 50 is Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who picked up the prize for a third time last summer.
"I'm very excited about this," he said. "As players, we work the entire year to win honors for the team, we don't look for the individual awards, but when they come it's an incentive and gives us strength to continue on the same path."
So who will be named champion of 2014? That remains a closely-guarded secret, but you can bet the list will look very different from 2013's. Only Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta have made all six editions of the Goal 50, proving that longevity and consistency at the top are rare commodities.
The World Cup has inevitably had an impact on voting, but don't rule out those who were unable to make it to Brazil or who failed to shine because of injury. This is a seasonal award that does not overlook the domestic or continental club calendar.
What the Goal 50 guarantees every year is a special celebration of footballing greatness that you won't find anywhere else. There is no free pass into our countdown - only the best will be named on Monday July 28.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Do these players deserve to make the Goal 50? If not, who else should be on the list? If so, who should join them and in what order should they be ranked?