The 2018 Goal 50 is now just days away. On Tuesday, November 13, we will reveal the world's 50 best players of the past 12 months.
The prestigious annual award, which has been ranking the top performers on the planet since 2008, was last year presented to Cristiano Ronaldo after he helped Real Madrid retain the Champions League.
The Portugal international has since moved on to Juventus but is one of the favourites to take the prize again this year after more European glory with his previous employers.
However, he faces stiff competition from the likes of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, former Madrid team-mate Luka Modric, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and France’s World Cup heroes Kylian Mbappe, Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.
Chief editors and correspondents from Goal's 42 editions around the world all cast their votes, with candidates judged on their level of consistency over the previous season of action, their big-game performances, footballing legacy and the success of their teams at both club and international level.
As a little teaser ahead of the big countdown, we can reveal who one of the 50 voters – Goal features editor and Italian football expert Carlo Garganese – selected in his list.
Each voter was required to name their best 25 players of 2017-18, with their top pick earning 25 points and their last pick gaining one point. The points accumulated from all voters were then added up to form next week's Goal 50.
Carlo chose Madrid and Croatia hero Modric as his No.1, after the midfielder won the Champions League and led his country to an historic second-placed finish at the World Cup. He picked last year’s winner Ronaldo in second and Liverpool star Salah in third.
The winner of the 2015 Goal 50, Messi, only placed 11th on Carlo's list, after disappointing Champions League and World Cup campaigns overshadowed his brilliant domestic form. Meanwhile, Messi’s former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, did not make Carlo’s selection at all.
|1||Luka Modric||Real Madrid|
|5||Diego Godin||Atletico Madrid|
|6||Kevin De Bruyne||Manchester City|
|8||Raphael Varane||Real Madrid|
|9||Sergio Ramos||Real Madrid|
|10||Antoine Griezmann||Atletico Madrid|
|20||Gareth Bale||Real Madrid|
|21||Paul Pogba||Manchester United|
|24||Jan Oblak||Atletico Madrid|
|25||Sergio Aguero||Manchester City|
Other eye-catching omissions include Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona’s Luis Suarez and Juventus’ Paulo Dybala.
You can see Carlo's full vote above. What do you think of his selections and who would you have in your top 25? Join the debate in the comments section.
The Goal 50 is an annual award that both recognises and ranks the world's 50 best footballers of the preceding 12 months. Chief editors and correspondents from Goal's 42 editions around the world all cast their votes, with candidates judged on their level of consistency over the previous year of action, their big-game performances, footballing legacy and the success of their teams at both club and international level.