To reach the pinnacle of any profession is a feat that requires hundreds of hours of hard work in solitude and a self-imposed drive to be the best. To shine as ‘The Best’ individual in a team sport is another challenge altogether.

Cristiano Ronaldo was named The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 in Zurich, and he joins Lionel Messi, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho in being voted the world’s best footballer in recent history.

Who will follow in the footsteps of these legends of the game? A 23-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2017 award has been compiled by a panel of FIFA Legends.

FIFA Legends panel

  • Cafú (BRA)
  • Landon Donovan (USA)
  • Enzo Francescoli (URU)
  • Alex Frei (SUI)
  • Hidetoshi Nakata (JPN)
  • Diego Maradona (ARG)
  • Jay Jay Okocha (NGA)
  • Carles Puyol (ESP)
  • Carlos Valderrama (COL)
  • Edwin van der Sar (NED)
  • Ivan Vicelich (NZL)

From the final shortlist, key members of the footballing community - namely journalists, fans, national team coaches and captains - will vote for the winner, with the final three nominees to be announced at a later date. All award winners will be revealed at The Best FIFA Football Awards show in London on 23 October.