All world football fans will follow with great interest this year’s Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony, which will be held on Monday at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The English capital is hosting the event for the second year in a row.
The Best FIFA Football Awards aim to honour the best in football, including players, and managers, in recognition of their outstanding achievements last season.
The Best FIFA Awards include nine separate categories, including: Best Men’s Player, Best Goalkeeper, Best Men’s Coach, Best Women’s Player, Best Women’s Coach, the FIFA Fair Play Award, FIFA Puskas Award, FIFA Fan Award, and the FIFA FIFPro World11. Here is everything you need to know about the Best FIFA Awards including nominees and the voting process.
What are the Best FIFA’s Awards?
The Best FIFA Awards are annual awards given by FIFA for the best players and coaches in the game, not only for men, but also for women footballers and coaches.
It was first introduced in 2016 as a replacement of the FIFA Ballon d’Or, a five year merger between France Football’s prize and the governing body’s own World Player of the Year. Ballon d’Or is still offered by France Football but without a partnership or sponsorship from FIFA.
Cristiano Ronaldo won the award two times in a row; in 2016 and 2017. In all, he won the FIFA Player of the Year Award five times, and finished second four times.
How does voting work for the Best FIFA Awards?
Fans had the chance to cast their votes for the Best FIFA Men’s Player, Best FIFA Women’s Player, Best FIFA Men’s Coach and Best FIFA Women’s Coach awards earlier this summer. Fan votes count for 25% of the final vote, with FIFA’s selection committee finalising the decisions. The remaining 75% will be distributed evenly between the national coaches of FIFA Member Associations, their team captains and a select group of football journalists from those countries.
The selection panel to choose Best Men’s Player and Best Men’s Coach awards include a host of former footballing greats such as Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Kaka, Fabio Capello, Brazilian Ronaldo, Sammy Al Jaber, Emmanuel Amunike, Cha Bum-kun, Lothar Matthäus, Alessandro Nesta, Carlos Alberto Parreira, Andy Roxburgh, and Wynton Rufer.
The criteria for the best men’s players include their respective achievements from 3 July, 2017 to 15 July, 2018. For the first time in football history, an Egyptian player was shortlisted for the men’s best player award this year. Liverpool start Mohamed Salah reached the top three finalists beside Juventus’ Ronaldo and Real Madrid’s Luka Modric who recently won the 2017/18 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.
Salah is a milestone player in the Egyptian team and contributed to its qualification to the World Cup after 28-year wait. The Egyptian international footballer also wrote history in the English Premier League as he became one of the top 10 valuable players in the world, according to Transfermarkt. He also led his team to reach the UEFA Champions League’s (UCL) final game against Real Madrid, when his shoulder was badly injured.
Moreover, Salah has won many individual awards in England and Africa, as well as many popular surveys.
Ronaldo, last year’s winner, helped Real Madrid win last season’s UCL, marking his fifth UCL title before moving to Juventus in July. Modric is also part of that Madrid side that has dominated the Champions League in recent years and won the Golden Ball for the best player at the World Cup for leading Croatia to the final.
The final longlist included: Ronaldo (Portugal / Real Madrid / Juventus); Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium / Manchester City); Antoine Griezmann (France / Atletico Madrid); Eden Hazard (Belgium / Chelsea); Harry Kane (England / Tottenham Hotspur); Kylian Mbappe (France / Paris Saint-Germain); Lionel Messi (Argentine / Barcelona); Modric (Croatia / Real Madrid); Salah (Egypt / Liverpool); Raphael Varane (France / Real Madrid).
The three contenders for the FIFA Goalkeeper Award, which Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon lifted a year ago, are Thibaut Courtois (Belgium / Chelsea / Real Madrid), Hugo Lloris (France / Tottenham Hotspur), and Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark, Leicester City).
Best Men’s Coach
The 2017 winner Zinedine Zidane is among the shortlist for this year’s award, joining his fellow Frenchman who led Les Bleus to the 2018 FIFA World Cup title, and Zlatko Dalic who took Croatia to their first FIFA World Cup Final.
A total of 11 names have made it to the longlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award. The nominees were Massimiliano Allegri (Italy / Juventus), Stanislav Cherchesov (Russia / Russia national team), Zlatko Dalic (Croatia / Croatia national team), Didier Deschamps (France / France national team), Pep Guardiola (Spain / Manchester City), Jurgen Klopp (Germany / Liverpool), Roberto Martinez (Spain / Belgium national team), Diego Simeone (Argentina / Atletico Madrid), Gareth Southgate (England / England national team), Ernesto Valverde (Spain / Barcelona), and Zinedine Zidane (France / Real Madrid).
Best Women’s Player
The shortlist for the Best Women’s Player award includes Norwegian Ada Hegerberg, who helped Lyon win Ligue 1 Feminine, with 31 goals in just 20 appearances, German Dzsenifer Marozsán who won Ligue 1 Feminine and UEFA Women’s Champions League with Lyon, and Brazilian Marta da Silva who plays for US Orlando Pride.
Best Women’s Coach
The finalists for the Best Women’s Coach award include Reynald Pedros (France / Olympique Lyonnais), Asako Takakura (Japan / Japan national team), and Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands / Netherlands national team).
FIFA Puskas Award
The FIFA Puskas Award rewards the best goal scored between 3 July 2017 and 15 July 2018. The Puskas Award is decided by fan votes on FIFA.com. Here are all 10 nominees: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Denis Cheryshev (Russia), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (AEK Athens), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro), Riley McGree (Newcastle Jets), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Benjamin Pavard (France), Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal), and Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).