FIFA are gearing up for their annual award ceremony next week.
2020 has been a tumultuous year for everybody in the beautiful game and the various delays and upheavals inflicted upon the sport have led to the cancellation of France Football's Ballon d'Or.
FIFA FIFPro World XI
Nevertheless, FIFA's equivalent prize at 'The Best' awards isn't far behind and will get its chance to stand in as the trophy that everybody wants when the gala rolls around on December 17.
And while Robert Lewandowski seems pretty nailed on to win the 'The Best FIFA Men's Player' prize, there are other categories where the victor is much harder to pick out.
The FIFA Puskas Award, for one, is always something of a lottery between the best goals scored in the last 12 months, but for our money, it's the FIFA FIFPro World XI that's the most fascinating.
Naturally, there is much more room for variation when it comes to an entire starting XI and it gives us a broader idea of which superstars are viewed as making that year's top 11 footballers.
Voted for by the pros
Well, we still have a week to wait and see what the final XI will look like, but FIFA have whet our appetite in the meantime by revealing the 55 players who are in the running for a place.
The governing body explained their process like so: "FIFPRO and FIFA invited all professional footballers worldwide to vote for the World 11. We asked them to pick the most outstanding players in the following lines: goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards.
"The goalkeeper, as well as the three defenders, three midfielders and three forwards who received the most votes will be selected for the World 11. The remaining spot in the World 11 will be assigned to the outfield player with the next highest number of votes."
The 55 nominees
The nominees are all the more fascinating for being picked by professionals themselves, so check out who they collectively consider to be the world's 55 best players across 2020 down below:
Alisson Becker (Liverpool)
Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
David de Gea (Manchester United)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
Moraes Ederson (Manchester City)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)
Keylor Navas (Paris Saint-Germain)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
David Alaba (Bayern Munich)
Jordi Alba (Barcelona)
Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Dani Alves (Sao Paulo)
Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich)
Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Kalidou Koulibaly (Napolil)
Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)
Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea)
Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich and Liverpool)
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona)
Casemiro (Real Madrid)
Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich and Barcelona)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich)
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)
N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich)
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan)
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Neymar Junior (Paris Saint-Germain)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Son Heungmin (Tottenham Hotspur)
Surprise Alli inclusion
Very interesting indeed. For every elder statesmen of the awards circuit like Ronaldo and Messi, you have youngsters making their first mark on the big stage such as Haaland and Davies.
However, of all the selections on display, the presence of Alli is by far the most curious, especially when you consider players like Gerard Pique and Raheem Sterling didn't even make the cut.
While there is absolutely no denying that Alli is an incredibly talented footballer, the England man has essentially been frozen out of the Tottenham setup by Jose Mourinho in recent months.
You can't help feeling bewildered when somebody who has only played 67 minutes of Premier League football this season is technically in contention for FIFA's best XI of 2020.
Now, I don't think there's any threat of Alli making the cut, but his presence is by far and away the most bizarre amongst a list we can't wait to see whittled down by FIFA next week.News Now - Sport News