On Tuesday afternoon, the website of international soccer’s governing body FIFA has made it possible for fans with an account there to vote for their choice of the top three nominees, in each of the main four award categories.
As every year, the categories are best men’s player, best men’s coach, best women’s player and best women’s coach.
As has been the case for the last two years, the total fan vote is worth 25%, as is the vote of chosen media figures, as well as that of all national team coaches and captains.
I will list the nominees below, along with my choices and reasons why I voted as I did.
Men’s best player: Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Antonie Griezmann , Eden Hazard , Harry Kane , Kylian Mbappé , Lionel Messi, Luka Modrić ,Mohamed Salah, Raphaël Varane.
My choices :1) Luka Modrić , 2) Kylian Mbappé, 3) Antonie Griezmann.
Modrić set the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Cup alight. Mbappé made history as the youngest player since Pele to win a World Cup and to score in its final. Griezmann was huge for club and country.
Best men’s coach: Massimiliano Allegri, Stanislav Cherchesov, Zlatko Dalić , Didier Deschamps, Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp, Roberto Martinez, Diego Simeone, Gareth Southgate, Ernesto Valverde, Zinedine Zidane.
My choices :1) Zlatko Dalić, 2) Didier Deschamps, 3) Zinedine Zidane.
Dalić took Croatia from an underachieving to a world class team within a matter of months. Deschamps led France to its second ever FIFA World Cup crown, while Zidane left Real Madrid with three consecutive Champions League titles, unprecedented in the modern era.
Women’s best player: Lucy Bronze, Pernille Harder, Ada Hegerberg , Amedine Henry, Samantha Kerr, Saki Kumagai, Dzenifer Marozsan, Marta, Megan Rapinoe , Wendie Renard.
My choices: 1) Ada Hegerberg 2) Megan Rapinoe 3) Dzenifer Marozsan .
Hegerberg has been a goal scoring machine for Olympique Lyon, arguably the best women’s club on the planet. She has simply been overlooked by FIFA for this award. The same is true for Rapinoe, who is one of the most technically-skilled female players ever.
Dzenifer Marozsan was voted the best player of the Women’s Champions League last season.
Best women’s coach: Emma Hayes, Stephan Lerch, Mark Parsons, Reynald Pedros, Alen Stajcic , Asako Takakura, Vadao, Jorge Vilda, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg , Sarina Wiegman.
My choices: 1) Reynald Pedros 2) Asako Takakura 3)Mark Parsons.
Pedros had a near-perfect season with Lyon. Takakura lead the Japanese national team to Asian Cup glory, while Parsons won the American NWSL title with the Portland Thorns.