FIFA revealed the shortlists for its 2020 Best FIFA Footbal Awards, including those for best player, best goalkeeper and best coach in both the men’s and women’s game.
Compiling such lists of nominees is never an exact science and cannot be objectively accurate, but there are individuals who have reason to feel aggrieved they are not included.
It has been a challenging year in the women’s game, with cancelled seasons and a significant lack of action for players based in North America due to global circumstances. That has pushed the focus even further on to Europe, with the Champions League a real marker of success.
These are the most notable omissions from Best Women’s Player and Best Women’s Goalkeeper…
Best FIFA Women’s Player Omissions
Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir (Wolfsburg/Lyon)
Icelandic midfielder Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir played for both Champions League finalists during the 2019/20 season, transferring from Wolfsburg to Lyon in time for the August mini-tournament.
She had already helped Wolfsburg to a domestic double in Germany, before securing a Coupe de France with Lyon and then scoring in the victorious Champions League against her former club.
Lean Goessling (Wolfsburg)
Wolfsburg veteran Lena Goessling won the sixth Frauen-Bundesliga title of her career and seventh DFB Pokal in 2019/20. She also played in a fifth Champions League final in the space of eight seasons, albeit finishing on the losing side.
Alexandra Popp (Wolfsburg)
Alexandra Popp lined up alongside Goessling for Wolfsburg in that Champions League final against Lyon and scored. She finished the 2019/20 season second in UEFA’s Midfielder of the Season rankings, ahead of several players who actually made FIFA’s shortlist.
Marie Antoinette Katoto (PSG)
Emerging France forward Marie Antoinette Katoto was another who shone in the Champions League, helping Paris Saint-Germain get to the semi-finals again. She scored five goals along the way, including a crucial opener in the quarter-final against Arsenal.
Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper Omissions
Sandra Panos (Barcelona)
Sandra Panos kept goal for Barcelona as they finally secured an elusive and long overdue first Primera Division title since 2015. She also helped the club to the semi-finals of the Champions League and was named third best goalkeeper of the competition by UEFA.
Friederike Abt (Wolfsburg)
Friederike Abt actually replaced the nominated Hedvig Lindahl at Wolfsburg ahead of the Champions League mini-tournament, with the veteran Swede having moved on to Atletico Madrid.