FIFA are less than one week away from rewarding the finest footballers of 2020.
It's a year that many sports fans will be happy to see the back of and football's governing body is hoping to end a tumultuous 12 months on a high note with their virtual awards gala on Thursday.
With France Football's prestigious Ballon d'Or off the cards for a year, all eyes will be on FIFA's 'The Best' awards to fill the gap that would otherwise be left empty in the history books.
FIFA 'The Best' awards
Pernille Harder, Lucy Bronze and Wendie Renard will contest the women's prize, while Luis Suarez, Heung-min Son and Giorgian De Arrascaeta compete for the FIFA Puskas Award.
But by far the most difficult award to predict is the FIFA FIFPro World XI, which effectively reveals the 11 best players of the year - and the 55 contenders were revealed this week.
FIFA FIFPro World XI
The list was comprised of 15 defenders, 15 midfielders and 15 strikers, but the cohort we want to focus on today are the goalkeepers with 10 being chosen by the voting professionals.
While only one of the shot-stoppers will actually be chosen for the World XI itself, the competition to be crowned the number one of all the numbers ones in 2020 is particularly fierce.
We're sure your bet for the best of them all is already coming to mind, but we're not here to merely select our winner, we want to interrogate each of the ten stoppers who have been picked out.
The ranked goalkeepers
So, without further ado, brace yourself for controversy as we rank the 10 goalkeepers in contention for a place in the FIFA XI from worst to best based on their performances this year:
10. David de Gea (Manchester United)
It's a shame that De Gea has to finish rock bottom because we're starting to see his best form for Manchester United again, but some of his errors at the backend of 2019/20 were unforgivable.
9. Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
With 13 clean sheets in Serie A last season and four from nine games already this time around, saving five penalties to boot, it's mind-blowing to think that Donnarumma is still only 21 years old.
8. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona)
Yes, yes, yes, insert your jokes about Ter Stegen finishing eighth here, but if it wasn't for some of the German's one-man-team performances, Barcelona's 2020 would be even worse than it's already been.
7. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)
Nobody has more clean sheets in the Premier League so far this season than Lloris who is showing his best form in years under Jose Mourinho and boasts some of the sharpest reflexes in the game.
6. Keylor Navas (Paris Saint-Germain)
Yes, Navas marshalled more shutouts in Ligue 1 last season than he didn't, but nothing trumps the eye-test when it comes to the PSG stopper and he was inspirational at times en route to the 2020 Champions League final.
5. Alisson Becker (Liverpool)
Undoubtedly the world's best goalkeeper in 2019, it's only because of injuries and the improved performances of others that Alisson, now with a Premier League winners' medal, doesn't retain his throne.
4. Ederson (Manchester City)
A rare shining light for the Citizens in 2019/20, Ederson continues to prove himself as one of the sport's safest pair of hands and bagged the latest Premier League Golden Glove with 16 shutouts.
3. Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
With just 20 goals conceded on the way to winning La Liga last season, bagging his third Ricardo Zamora Trophy, Courtois is back showing the form that scooped him the World Cup Golden Glove.
2. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)
With eight clean sheets and just two goals conceded so far this season, Oblak's statistics speak for themselves, but his masterclass at Anfield earlier in the year also highlighted his staggering shot-stopping.
1. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Neuer was an absolute animal in Bayern's journey to Champions League glory, producing a stellar performance in the final and only ever being half an hour away from a world-class save to regain his number one status.
Neuer at number one
All the credit in the world to Neuer because it was only a few seasons ago that injuries and inconsistent form seemed to suggest that his days as one of the sport's best were numbered.
Sure, it's unlikely that we'll ever see the sort of form that thurst him into Ballon d'Or contention in 2014 ever again, but plateauing from world-beating performances is hardly a fall from grace.
Besides, make no mistake, Germany's number one played a massive role in Bayern's treble-winning campaign and should be given the nod by FIFA as the world's best goalkeeper for 2020. Period.News Now - Sport News