After last season’s resounding treble, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are the dominant force, and with 10 out of 30 finalists, they are the top contenders for the Best Male Player trophy at the 14th edition of the Dubai Globe Soccer Gala, which will be held on 19 January at the famous Atlantis Hotel, with the collaboration of the Dubai Sports Council. Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish, Rodri and Ruben Dias are joined in this first pre-selection by stars such as Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Mohamed Salah or the incombustible Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who are also joined by Karim Benzema, the winner of the last edition 2022. LaLiga is represented with six players: the aforementioned Bellingham, Antoine Griezmann, Ilkay Gundogan, Robert Lewandowski, Luka Modric and Vinicius. The Premier League has 13 players among the 30 finalists.
Bonmati the favourite
In the Best Women’s Player category, Aitana Bonmati is the favourite to succeed her teammate Alexia Putellas on the list of 20 nominees, which also includes Sam Kerr and Alexandra Popp. Alongside Bonamti are five other Spanish players: Olga Carmona, Esther Gonzalez, Patri Guijarro, Mapi Leon and Salma Paralluelo. In the best women’s club category, Barcelona stand out as the reigning Champions League winners, along with Chelsea, Lyon and Wolfsburg. In the men’s category, it will be difficult for Barcelona, Napoli, Boca Juniors, Al Ahly or Fluminense to snatch the trophy for Best Club of 2023 from City. The winner of the previous edition was Real Madrid.
In the coaches’ section, Pep Guardiola stands out in a list of 15 coaches and coaches that also includes Lionel Scaloni, Mikel Arteta, Carlo Ancelotti (last year’s winner), Xavi Hernandez, Simone Inzaghi, Luis de la Fuente, Jonatan Giraldez, Sarina Wiegmann and Marcel Koller, the Swiss coach who won five titles in just 10 months with Al Ahly. Two new award categories have been added this year, the Best Middle East Player, with Cristiano and Benzema among others, and the Best Club in the Middle East, with Al Hilal, Al Ahly and Al Nassr among the eight nominees.
47 million votes
From today until 7 December, the first online voting phase is open for fans around the world to vote for their favourite players, coaches and clubs and thus make a filter in 11 of the 16 award categories, among which are also those of best president, best sporting director, best agent, the award for a whole career or the Maradona award for the best goalscorer, for which Haaland, Mbappe, Kane or Cristiano are still competing until the end of the year. Once this initial phase is closed, the second vote will involve not only the public but also an official Globe Soccer Gala jury, made up of 30 eminent figures from the football industry including Casillas, Figo, Totti, Capello and Lippi, who will make the final selection between 12 and 28 December. Last year, fans from 225 different countries cast more than 47 million votes.
The voice of the fans
Tommaso Bendoni, founder and CEO of Globe Soccer, said: “We are very proud that the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards reflect a true representation of world football from the capital of the world, Dubai. As every year, I am most excited to see how the fans vote – their voice has always been very important to us. Our partnership with the Dubai Sports Council remains invaluable to the continued expansion of the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards.”
A global platform
Alongside the Globe Soccer Gala, Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council, highlighted the Dubai International Sports Conferences, which were launched in 2006 and will celebrate their 18th edition in January: “Both the Gala and the Conferences have evolved into a global platform that is faithfully followed around the world. Both play a vital role in promoting the development of sport on a global scale”.
Among the four digital award categories of this Dubai Globe Soccer Gala, it is worth highlighting the presence of Julio Maldonado ‘Maldini’, Guillem Balague, Gerard Romero, Fabrizio Romano and Gianluca Di Marzio among the nominees in the Best Digital Journalist category. The other three categories recognise the Best Esports Player, Best Network Influencer and Best Video Content Creator. Fans can vote in all categories on vote.globesoccer.com until 7 December.