Unlike the Fifa Ballon d’Or, which is based on the annual calendar, the Goal 50 judges the achievements of players over the course of an entire season.
The award is given out after all club and international competitions in the European calendar have been completed for the campaign.
|GOAL 50 PAST WINNERS
Goal has 35 editions, with journalists in every football country. More than 600 experts from all over the globe vote to decide which players make up the Goal 50.
Votes are cast regionally and nationally - every territory is guaranteed to be thoroughly scouted - and our network of experts and analysts ensure nobody, regardless of club, country, age or position, misses out on the chance to make the list.
Players are judged on their level of consistency over the past season, their big-game performances, footballing legacy and the success of their team at both club and international level.
Graham Shaw, Goal’s Editorial Director, said: "Goal 50 gives a truly global view on the players who have lit up an epic season. The World Cup in Brazil was a fitting finale to a sensational campaign, and added fuel to the debate raging about who should top this year’s list."
Since its inception in 2008, the award has been won on three occasions by Lionel Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo has picked up the prize twice, with only Wesley Sneijder breaking the duopoly in 2010.
Messi is the current title-holder and remarked after last year’s triumph: "I'm very excited about this. As players, we work the entire year to win honours 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."
The Goal 50 for 2014 will be announced on Monday July 28.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Make your voice heard ahead of the announcement. Get involved via our Goal 50 section this month, give us all your views on the debate by commenting below, and by getting in touch on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #Goal50.