Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ronaldo favourite to add FIFA award to Ballon d´Or triumph

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Jan 2017

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Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite to win the inaugural Best FIFA Men’s Player award at Monday’s ceremony in Zurich.

The Real Madrid star, who claimed a fourth Ballon d’Or of his glittering career in December, is expected to beat fellow nominees Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann in the race to be named the world’s best player of the past year.

The award is a modernisation of the FIFA World Player of the Year, which was last won by Messi in 2009, before the merger with France Football created the FIFA Ballon d’Or. The world game’s governing body ended that collaboration last year.

Winners are selected via a voting process involving national team coaches and captains, selected members of the media, and an online fan poll.

Prizes will also be given to the best women’s player and the best coaches in men’s and women’s football, along with a fair play award.

Zinedine Zidane, Claudio Ranieri and Fernando Santos are up for the men’s coaching prize, with the Real Madrid boss the early favourite.

The winner of the Puskas Award for the best goal of 2016 and the FIFA FIFPro World11 will also be announced.

Reports on Monday have claimed that Paul Pogba, Gianluigi Buffon and Neymar are the surprising omissions from the World11 line-up, which is voted for by professional players across the world.

The new Fan Award, recognising “an outstanding fan moment or gesture from the calendar year”, will also be given.

Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund fans, who sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ together before last season’s Europa League match at Anfield, are among the nominees.

They will contest ADO Den Haag, whose supporters brought soft toys for young fans of rivals Feyenoord, and the Iceland fans at Euro 2016, who are recognised for the ‘Huh’ chant that became famous during their remarkable run to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.

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