Who Wins The PFA, Ballon d’Or And Other Major Awards If Football Ended Now In 2020
Club football is on an indefinite break - awful for fans and players, but at least this lot are in pole position for the big individual awards.
After all, in a worst-case scenario that elite football is over this year (please lord no), the awards will still be dished out. Probably. Easy to name PFA Player of the Year with most of the Prem season played - a bit harder to judge the 2020 Ballon d'Or.
Has that stopped us having a go? No, it has not.
PFA Player of the Year: Kevin De Bruyne
Man City blitzed the last two Premier League titles, scoring a total 198 points, but Liverpool players won both PFA awards.
Time to switch it around: LFC are this season's champions in waiting - so let's give City magician De Bruyne a consolation PFA trophy.
Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane are also worthy, but De Bruyne's 16 assists and eight goals in 26 games is special. Also nominated: Jamie Vardy, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold.
PFA Young Player of the Year: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Liverpool's right-back/assist machine walks this - especially as, at 21, he's actually a youngster. The 2019 winner was then 24-year-old Raheem Sterling. Stop laughing.
Jack Grealish would have run him close, if it wasn't for what we'll call "breaking news". Dean Henderson, James Maddison, Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount also get a nomination.
LMA Manager of the Year: Jurgen Klopp
When you succeed where Rafa Benitez, Brendan Rodgers and even Roy 'where's my Anfield statue?' Hodgson have failed by taking Liverpool to the title - or the brink of it - this award is a lock.
Will it ease the pain if Liverpool don't actually get to lift the league trophy? Only the wisest can say. Runners up: Chris Wilder, Marcelo Bielsa, Slaven Bilic, Brendan Rodgers and Mark Robins.
Ballon d'Or: Josip Ilicic
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You what? Ballon d'Or is tricky as we only got 10 weeks of football in 2020 - but in that time, Atalanta's Ilicic scored an incredible 13 goals, including all four in a 4-3 Champions League win at Valencia. Did we mention he isn't even a striker?
Erling Haaland and Cristiano Ronaldo also started 2020 in form, both netting 11 goals. Jan Oblak's Anfield display makes him a rare keeper shout, while Bruno Fernandes has been on fire since arriving at Old Trafford.
But no: Ilicic for Ballon d'Or. You heard it here first (and last).
Puskas Award: Kylian Mbappe
Amazing contenders for best goal of 2020 already: Jordan Flores doing a Zinedine Zidane impression for Dundalk, Odion Ighalo lashing in against LASK and Emre Can showing off his banana in Dortmund.
Let's pick Mbappe's 70-yard solo run for PSG though, the second of his hat-trick against Lyon. Pace: check. Skills: check. Finish: check.
African Player of the Year: Odion Ighalo
We robbed him in the Puskas category, so let's make up for it. From joke January signing to four goals in three Manchester United starts - including that worldie against LASK. No wonder United fans are now keen to keep him.
Also starting 2020 strongly: Jordan Ayew netting big goals for Crystal Palace, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang scoring (when isn't he?), plus Mo Salah and Sadio Mane despite Liverpool's wobble.
Ballon d'Or Feminin: Alexia Putellas
With the SheBelieves Cup played, at least women's international football has a reasonably big competition in the bag to judge this on.
Christen Press starred for the US side which lifted the trophy, but let's go for Spain and Barcelona stylist Alexia Putellas. She shone in two matches, then came off the bench in Spain's last game to beat Phil Neville's England, which clearly marks her out as elite. Right?
Europe's other top domestic leagues...
Lionel Messi (shock!) has been class in an otherwise underwhelming La Liga season. Lazio's Ciro Immobile's 27 goals make him Serie A's top star, just ahead of Lautaro Martinez of Inter and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Jadon Sancho, Timo Werner and Robert Lewandowski have shone in Germany but Bayern's Pole has a mighty 25 goals in 23 Bundesliga games. Monaco's Wissam Ben Yedder is the pick of the farmers - sorry; non-PSG players - in Ligue 1.
All imagery: PA Images
Topics: PFA Player Of The Year, Odion Ighalo, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Wissam Ben Yedder, Football, Robert Lewandowski, Ciro Immobile, Lionel Messi, Premier League, Jurgen Klopp, Kevin de Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe, Ballon d’Or
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