Amid a seemingly never-ending debate regarding who is the football’s greatest player, fans from around the world have an opportunity to make their choice as voting opens for the 14th edition of the Dubai Globe Soccer Gala on Tuesday.

The first voting phase for the 14th edition of the prestigious awards — set to take place on January 19 next year — will see fans contributing to 11 out of the total 16 award categories and will close on December 7.

Participation of fans in the voting process holds significance as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo — arguably the most famous football players on the planet — are also part of the first pre-selection phase and it is expected that their global fan base will play a key role in their prospects for success. 

Football fans, from 225 different countries, had cast more than 47 million votes last year.

According to marca.com, the first pre-selection phase also includes other football stars including Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish, Rodri and Ruben Dias, Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Mohamed Salah and Karim Benzema.

Meanwhile, in the second phase of voting, fans will be joined by an official Globe Soccer Gala jury comprising 30 notable figures such as Casillas, Figo, Totti, Capello and Lippi who will be responsible for the final selection from December 12 to 18.

Furthermore, Josep “Pep” Guardiola is seemingly the favourite of the coaches category that comprises 14 notable figures such as Lionel Scaloni, Mikel Arteta, Xavi Hernandez, Simone Inzaghi, Luis de la Fuente, Jonatan Giraldez, Sarina Wiegmann, Marcel Koller and last year’s winner Carlo Ancelotti.

Additionally, LaLiga and the Premier League have also representation in the awards with six and 13 players, respectively — with the Premier League’s players part of the 30 finalists.

Expressing his views on the awards, the founder and CEO of Globe Soccer Tommaso Bendoni stressed the significance of the role played by the fans in the voting process.

“I am most excited to see how the fans vote – their voice has always been very important to us,” he said.