ZURICH: Normal service will be resumed at the FIFA Gala in January when Lionel Messi takes on holder Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar for the prize of World Player of the Year.
Barcelona’s Messi and Real Madrid’s Ronaldo have both figured in the prize shortlist for all of the last four years.
Contenders for the women’s prize will be Carli Lloyd (United States, Houston Dash), Aya Miyama (Japan, Okayama Yunogo Belle) and Célia Šašić (Germany, 1FFC Frankfurt).
The various category prize nominees were announced by the world football federation today.
Nominees for Coach of the Year were also announced.
Men’s award: Pep Guardiola (Spain, Bayern Munich), Luis Enrique (Spain, Barcelona), Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina, Chile national team). Women’s award: Jill Ellis (US national team), Mark Sampson (Wales, England national team) and Norio Sasaki (Japanese national team).
All of the nominees were confirmed after a voting process open to the captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams of 207 member associations as well as selected media representatives.
The percentages of the collected votes are as follows (number of votes/number of associations):
Voting for men’s awards: 165
Member associations (captains & coaches): 79.71%
Media representatives: 88.60%
Voting for women’s awards: 136
Member associations (captains & coaches): 76,83%
Media representatives: 80.92%
The voting procedure for each of the awards was supervised and monitored by the independent observer PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland.
In addition, the three nominees for the FIFA Puskás Award for the “most beautiful goal of the year” were announced.
The three final goals are: Alessandro Florenzi (16.09.2015: Roma v Barcelona, UEFA Champions League); Wendell Lira (11.03.2015, Atletico-GO v Goianesia, Campeonato Goiano, Brazil); and Lionel Messi (30.05.2015, Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona, Copa del Rey, Spain).
All of the awards will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 11 during a televised show to be streamed live on FIFA.com and FIFA on YouTube.
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