Former All Whites and Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert has played a small but important part in helping the world choose its best male player for 2019.
Herbert, the founder of the Ricki Herbert Football Academy, was one of a panel of 10 international football experts asked by FIFA to produce a shortlist of contenders for the coveted title of best in the world.
FIFA says the ten players were nominated based on their respective achievements during the period from July 16, 2018, to July 19, 2019, and the public will now help select the winner.
The Best FIFA Men’s Player nominees
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) – Juventus
Frenkie de Jong (NED) – Ajax / FC Barcelona
Matthijs de Ligt (NED) – Ajax / Juventus
Eden Hazard (BEL) – Chelsea / Real Madrid
Harry Kane (ENG) – Tottenham Hotspur
Sadio Mane (SEN) – Liverpool
Kylian Mbappe (FRA) – Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi (ARG) – FC Barcelona
Mohamed Salah (EGY) – Liverpool
Virgil van Dijk (NED) – Liverpool
Herbert has helped FIFA in a number of roles since stepping down as All Whites coach in 2013.
Other members of the FIFA panel to shortlist this year’s best male footballers were:
Fabio Capello, former Italian international and manager of England and Russia
Franco Baresi, former captain of Italy
Lothar Matthäus, former FIFA World Player of the Year and World Cup winner with Germany
Hugo Sánchez, former Mexican international
Kaka, former Brazilian international
Cha Bum-kun, former manager of South Korea’s national team and youngest player ever to play for Korea
Francisco Maturana, former international and manager of Columbia
Juan Sebastian Veron, Argentian international
Xavi, former Barcelona star and Spanish international with the third-most professional game appearances ever (1,135).