I will start off by recognizing the death of Diego Maradona, an icon and legend in the soccer/football world. May he rest in peace. My condolences to his family and friends.
With Christmas and New Year’s around the corner, the month of December is a packed month for soccer. It is the month with the most games, with many of them showcasing and determining what will happen in the second half of the season across the world. It is also the season of awards, with the Ballon D’or cancelled this year due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty of the year that has passed us. Thankfully, FIFA’s Best awards are still up for grabs. This is an opportunity for some of the best players and coaches around the world to be recognized for the immense effort they put into the game they love so dearly. The following categories having many worthy contenders, and former winners. The categories are as follows:
- The Best FIFA Men’s player nominees: Thiago Alcantara, Spain (Bayern, currently at Liverpool) Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal (Juventus F.C.) Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium (Manchester City) Robert Lewandowski, Poland (Bayern Munich) Sadio Mane, Senegal (Liverpool) Kylian Mbappe, France (PSG) Leo Messi, Argentina (Barcelona) Neymar, Brazil (Paris Saint-Germain F.C.) Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)
- The Best FIFA Women’s player nominees: Lucy Bronze, England (Manchester City) Delphine Cascarino, France (Olympique Lyon) Caroline Graham Hansen, Norway (Barcelona) Pernille Harder, Denmark (Wolfsburg) Jennifer Hermoso, Spain (Barcelona) Sam Kerr, Australia (Chelsea) Ji Soyun, Korea (Chelsea) Saki Kumagai, Japan (Olympique Lyonnais) Dzsenifer Marozsán, Germany (Lyon) Wendie Renard, France (OL), Vivianne Miedema, Netherlands (Arsenal)
- The Best Men’s Coach Nominees: Marco Bielsa (Leeds), Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool), Hans Flick (Bayern Munich), Julen Lopetegui (Sevilla), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)
- The Best Women’s Coach Nominees: Luis Cortes, Rita Guarino, Emma Hayes (Chelsea), Stephan Lerch, Hege Riise, Jean-Luc Lasseur, Sarina Weigman
- THE PUSKAS award—the only award where statistics don’t really have an impact, where the beauty of the goals is what matters, This award is the most biased but it is interesting with the likes of Son Heung-Min, Caroline Weir, and Sophie Ingle. Personally, one of my top two is Zlatko Januzovic’s goal, a sweetly struck, outside-the-box volley, coming in from a corner. But all the goals are with taking a look at. Each one with its unique beauty.
With more awards included, for keepers, FIFAPro Men’s and Women’s World 11, FIFA Fan award, FIFA Fair Play award.
My hopes for the Best Men’s awards are that Messi and Ronaldo don’t make the top three, given their remarkable yet declining season. In an ideal world, Lewandowski would win, Thiago Alcantara in second and Kevin de Bruyne in third.
Lewandowski’s outstanding 12 months gives him the right to move up and win this year’s award.
FIFA Best Women’s Awards predictions: Sam Kerr with the win, Lucy Bronze in second, and Wendie Renard in third.
Hans Flick taking home the Best Men’s Coach Award should be in the bag with the only real contenders being Jurgen Klopp and Zinedine Zidane.
Goals for the Lovable Puskas Award are biased.
The awards date is Dec. 17, 2020. You can vote for your favorite person in each category on FIFA.com