The “Best” of world football will convene at Geneva Monday evening. The inaugural edition of The Best FIFA Football Awards will be held at the Zurich’s TPC Studios, where the global governing body will honour the standout performances from 2016. Yes, as it has been the norm for the last few years, Cristiano Ronaldo is a front-runner for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, with Lionel Messi his biggest rival.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane might make it a double for the Spanish giants as he is a front-runner for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award. Zidane has had a phenomenal first year at the helm of Real Madrid, who won the UEFA Champions League and have been on a record unbeaten streak that’s continued into the new year.
However, there is more to The Best FIFA Football Awards than standout coaches and goalscoring superstars. The award has come into existence after FIFA ended its six-year collaboration with France Football magazine for the Ballon d’Or award.
Here are more things that you need to know about the ‘Best’, FIFA’s new brand, which could become the benchmark in the coming years as far as footballing awards are concerned.
The awards and nominees:
1. The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award (Nominees: Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi)
2. The Best FIFA Women’s Player Award (Nominees: Melanie Behringer, Carli Lloyd and Marta)
3. The Best FIFA Men’s Coach Award (Nominees: Claudio Ranieri, Fernando Santos and Zinedine Zidane)
4. The Best FIFA Women’s Coach Award (Nominees: Jill Ellis, Silvia Neid and Pia Sundhage)
5. The FIFA Puskás Award 2016 (Nominees: Marlone, Daniuska Rodriguez and Mohd Faiz Subri)
6. The FIFA Fair Play Award
7. The FIFA Fan Award (Nominees: ADO Den Haag supporters, Borussia Dortmund-Liverpool supporters and Iceland supporters)
Venue and Time:
Zurich’s TPC Studios (Technology and Production Center, Switzerland) at 11 pm IST (6:30 pm CET)
The voting process:
A combined voting process was used to determine the winners of The Best FIFA Men’s and Women’s Player, and The Best FIFA Men’s and Women’s Coach awards. Head coaches and captains of the national teams have a huge say in the award (captains 25 per cent and head coaches 25 per cent). The other 50 per cent is split between an online public ballot of fans (25 per cent) and submissions from a selected group of media representatives (25 per cent). The voting took place between November 4 and 22, 2016, monitored by the independent observer, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland.
FIFA Puskás Award and FIFA Fan Award:
The FIFA Puskás Award and FIFA Fan Award are voted by the fans on FIFA.com with each fan given one vote for each category. The voting for the FIFA Fan Award closed Monday morning while the FIFA Puskás Award voting will end during the ceremony.
FIFA FIFPro World11 selection:
The FIFA FIFPro World11 awards recognise the best players in each position based on their performances from December 1, 2015 to November 28, 2016. The winners are selected by the votes of over 45,000 professional players from around the world.
The winners of The Best FIFA Men’s and Women’s Player, and The Best FIFA Men’s and Women’s Coach awards will be given a newly-designed, platinum-coated trophy similar to the iconic FIFA World Cup trophy. The other award winners will be handed different, platinum-coated, trophies.