While Hollywood honors its best performers of 2008, it would also be apt to take advantage of this festive awards season to go through the star performers in the world's most watched sport.
The footballing theater of dreams that inspires many a fan has seen its own stars take the stage during the current season. An honor roll is definitely the order of the day.
This is more English Premier League-centric in nature, and is likely to change come the end of the season, so it can be considered a midseason awards show, but with a slight twist to the normal awards categories.
David Bentley's stunning volley from distance against Arsenal at the Emirates.
For sheer individual brilliance, poise, and presence of mind (to see where the goalkeeper is standing), this has to be the goal that stands out the most. It was a stunning riposte by a player to a club where he wasn't deemed good enough to play.
Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor
This dynamic duo has transformed the fortunes of Aston Villa from being a perennial UEFA Cup spot challenger to a strong Champions League spot contender. The combination of pace and skill that these two display in tandem is a treat to watch, shredding apart defenses on the counter-attack.
They should become regulars in the English national team, and if Aston Villa qualifies for the UEFA Champions League next season, it would be interesting to see how many foreign clubs try to pounce on their talent.
His influence on his club's performances is unmatched by that of any other Englishman. His absence is clearly felt whenever Liverpool loses him to injury. He has been the savior for his club so many times, not only this year but in the past as well, that he can very well be termed as the heartbeat of Liverpool.
This has to be a tie between Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho
Both master tacticians have already pulled their teams away from the competition in their respective domestic leagues. Some may argue for Pep Guardiola, but look at the superstars he has at his disposal at Barcelona.
The tie is likely to be settled in favor of either Sir Alex or the self-proclaimed Special One over two legs in the first knockout round of the Champions League. Martin O'Neill at Aston Villa also deserves a special mention here for the way he has carried his team into the top four of the English Premier League.
Tie between Nemanja Vidic and Ryan Giggs
One is the rock in Manchester United's backline, and the other continues to be one of the great unsung heroes of the same club. Vidic has really come into his own this season, so much so that his absence from the first leg with Inter Milan is Man United's greatest vulnerability.
And Ryan Giggs continues to dazzle all and sundry even at this age. He is one of the most loyal and talented performers the game has seen.
Eduardo Da Silva
The magnitude of this man's injury and his ability to rise from near-disability has to be the feel-good story of the season so far. One of the more talented (and underrated before arriving at Arsenal) strikers of the game, his two-goal comeback with Arsenal's first team in the FA Cup fourth round against Cardiff is a clear choice for comeback of the season.
After having been left out in the cold by the English national team (partially due to his own insistence on pursuing his American dream), he stands out as the most resilient of the lot. Not only is he back in the English team, but will in all likelihood set a new record for most English national team appearances. And if he gets the chance to remain at AC Milan, he can preserve his superstar status for good.
Cristiano Ronaldo (who else?)
Even though he is a player whose reputation for play-acting and diving is becoming legendary by the game, his unmatched wizadry on the pitch is something to marvel.
The competition is close, though. If one had to combine fair play with footballing talent, then this award would probably go to Fernando Torres for the impression that he has made in the English League and his performances for Spain.
And before everyone starts jumping on the Lionel Messi bandwagon, please note that he too is not the best combination of fair play and footballing talent (Remember the goal he scored with his hand against Espanyol?).
No ties here. Some may argue for Manchester United, but just look at the cast of stars in this lineup. Almost every player has impressed on the world stage. Messi, Henry, Xavi, Eto'o, Alves, Puyol, Iniesta. If there is a weakness, it is probably the goalkeeper. But the goal-scoring exploits (at nearly three goals per game in the league) and ability to control midfield has resulted in a massive goal difference of 51 in 24 league games already.