Virgil van Dijk and Megan Rapinoe named as the best players in the world in the first ever joint Goal 50 awards

• Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah place 2nd and 3rd in the men’s list
• Lucy Bronze and Sam Kerr place 2nd and 3rd in the women’s list

London, 12 November 2019 – Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Reign FC’s Megan Rapinoe have been named the best footballers in the world in Goal’s annual Goal 50 awards.

Now in its 12th year, Goal 50 is the publisher’s annual celebration of the fifty best players in the world. This year is the first to equally honour male and female players with a list of the top 25 female players, alongside the list of top 25 male players, to make up Goal 50 2019. Goal, is part of DAZN Group, the digital leader in global sports media.

Goal 50 is voted for by Goal’s 500 strong global network of correspondents and based on players performances over the past 12 months.

When receiving his award, Van Dijk said: “I am very proud to have been named at No.1 on the Goal 50 for 2019. To be recognised among the great players in world football is very special for me, but it can only happen with the success of our team. I am thankful to my team-mates because without them these kind of awards are not possible.”

Rapinoe said, “It is a privilege to be named alongside so many great players and to receive this year’s Goal 50 award. However, it is a privilege which is only possible due to strength and talent of the other women who join me on this list.”

On the men’s list, Van Dijk is followed by Lionel Messi and Mohammed Salah in 2nd and 3rd place respectively, while Cristiano Ronaldo is 4th.

In a year which saw Liverpool win the Champions League and go close to winning the Premier League title, the club’s players dominate the 2019 Goal 50.

Van Dijk and Salah are joined by team mates Sadio Mane (5th), Alisson Becker (7th), Trent Alexander Arnold (15th), Roberto Firmino (17th), and Andy Robertson (23rd).

Rapinoe beat Olympique Lyonnais’ Lucy Bronze and Chicago Red Stars’ Sam Kerr on a list which features seven players from Olympique Lyonnais.

James Dickens, Goal’s Global Editor-in-Chief said: “By splitting the 2019 Goal 50 between men and women, this year’s list shows the rise of the women’s game over recent years and gives female players their rightful place alongside their male peers as part of Goal’s flagship awards. However, few could argue with Van Dijk and Rapinoe winning. Both players have had standout seasons.

“Van Dijk, was the rock that Liverpool’s record-breaking Premier League season was based on, as well as their Champions League victory.

“Not only was Rapinoe integral to the USWNT winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but before and since she has shown what it means to be more than a footballer.”

The Goal 50 list in full can be viewed at: http://www.goal.com/story/goal-50-2019/index.html

Other Highlights from the 2019 Goal 50

The Premier League is the best represented league on the list, with 13 of the 25 positions occupied by Premier League players. LaLiga has five players on the list, followed by the Bundesliga with three and Serie A with two.

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe is the only player from Ligue1 to be included.

Ajax’s Dusan Tadic appears in the list at number 22, the only player playing outside the big five European leagues. His former Ajax teammates, Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt appear at 8th and 12th.

Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho is the youngest player on the list, appearing at 18th.

Last year’s Goal 50 winner, Luka Modric failed to make this year’s list.

Despite Lyon’s dominance, the National Women’s Soccer League is the best represented league on the women’s list, with nine of the 25 players signed to NWSL teams.

Only three who were absent from the Women’s World Cup make the women’s list, these being Pernille Harder, Ewa Pajor and Ada Hegerberg.