Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer are the contenders for this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the best player of 2014. The FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2014 award was also announced alongside Ronaldo (Portugal), Messi (Argentina) and Neuer (Germany), with Nadine Kessler (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (USA) contesting the women’s award. The candidates for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football awards were also announced.
In alphabetical order, the contenders are: Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid), Joachim Loew (Germany/German national team) and Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico Madrid) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award, and Ralf Kellermann (Germany/Wolfsburg), Maren Meinert (Germany/Germany U-19 and U-20 national teams) and Norio Sasaki (Japan/Japan national team) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award. All the nominees were confirmed after a voting process which was open to the captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams of the 209 member associations as well as to international media representatives selected by FIFA and France Football voted for candidates.
The shortlist of 15 forwards for the FIFA FIFPro World XI was also announced, completing the final shortlist of 55 players also featuring five goalkeepers, 20 defenders and 15 midfielders.
The forward shortlist is (home country, club):
Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City); Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid); Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid); Diego Costa (Spain/Chelsea); Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid); Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris St-Germain); Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich); Lionel Messi (Pictured) (Argentina/Barcelona); Thomas Muller (Germany/Bayern Munich); Neymar (Brazil/Barcelona); Marco Reus (Germany/Borussia Dortmund); Arjen Robben (Netherlands/Bayern Munich); Franck Ribery (France/Bayern Munich); Wayne Rooney (England/Manchester United); Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Barcelona).
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: Stephanie Roche – 20 October 2013, Peamount United v Wexford Youths, BEWNL (Ireland Republic); James Rodriguez – 28 June 2014, Colombia v Uruguay, 2014 FIFA World Cup™; Robin Van Persie – 13 June 2014, Spain v Netherlands, 2014 FIFA World Cup™. All the awards will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on 12 January 2015 during a televised show to be streamed live on FIFA.com and FIFA on YouTube.
In addition to the above awards, the recipient of the FIFA Presidential Award and the winner of the FIFA Fair Play award will also be revealed during the award ceremony.