September 2 – You would be forgiven for thinking that we have already done this once. FIFA has announced the finalists for its men’s player of the year who are the same three players – Ronnie and Lionel of course, plus Virgil van Dyke – who just headlined UEFA’s awards.
Does no-one else in the world play men’s football or have they just forgotten to tell FIFA that as well as having a vote in the global games political forums, some of them have players as well, some of them might even be good.
A look at the other men’s awards shows a little more diversity, well almost. Two of the goalkeepers come from Brazil, but at least they are playing in Europe.
In what has been the biggest year ever for confederation championships – AFC, CAF, Conmebol, and Concacaf all held national team championships – FIFA has gone for club performances.
Fortunately in the women’s game FIFA found a couple of non-European club players but that would have been a bit easier for them as two of them come from their World Cup winning nation USA so a little more front and centre for them. England’s Lucy Bronze – who won the European women’s award last week – is also included in the final three.
FIFA’s obsequiously shiny awards will crown their undoubtedly perfectly formed winners at the Teatro alla Scala on 23 September 2019.
The full list of shortlisted candidates for The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 are:
The Best FIFA Men’s Player:
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Juventus)
- Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona)
- Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands/Liverpool)
The Best FIFA Women’s Player:
- Lucy Bronze (England/Olympique Lyonnais)
- Alex Morgan (USA/Orlando Pride)
- Megan Rapinoe (USA/Reign FC)
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach:
- Pep Guardiola (Spain/Manchester City)
- Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Liverpool)
- Mauricio Pochettino (Argentina/Tottenham Hotspur)
The Best FIFA Women’s Coach:
- Jill Ellis (USA/USA national team)
- Phil Neville (England/English national team)
- Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands/Dutch national team)
The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper:
- Alisson Becker (Brazil/Liverpool)
- Ederson (Brazil/Manchester City)
- Marc-André ter Stegen (Germany/Barcelona)
The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper
- Christiane Endler (Chile/Paris Saint-Germain)
- Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden/Chelsea/VfL Wolfsburg)
- Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands/Arsenal/Atlético Madrid)
FIFA Puskás Award:
- Lionel Messi (ARG) – Real Betis v. FC Barcelona [La Liga] (17 March 2019)
- Juan Fernando Quintero (COL) – River Plate Racing Club [Superliga Argentina] (10 February 2019
- Dániel Zsóri (HUN) – Debrecen FCv Ferencváros TC [Hungarian First Division] (16 February 2019)
FIFA Fan Award:
- Silvia Grecco (Brazilian mother who vividly describes Palmeiras matches to her blind son).
- Netherlands fans (the incredible Dutch fans at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019).
- Justo Sánchez (Uruguayan father who does not miss a single game of his team’s rival in loving memory of his deceased son).
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