Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, Others Nominated for FIFA Player Award

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  • Mourinho, Zidane, Conte listed for coaches’ top prize
  •  Omagbemi, Aubameyang only Africans listed

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo leads the nominees unveiled thursday for the Best FIFA Men’s Player 2017 award. The 32-year-old Portuguese captain is favourite to retain the title he won last year after success in both the Champions League and La Liga.

Nigeria’s Super Falcons’ coach, Florence Omagbemi and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are the only Africans in contention for FIFA’s annual awards. There were no Africans at all among the nominations for the awards for men’s coach or women’s player that were announced by football’s world governing body thursday.

Omagbemi is a pioneer member of the Nigeria’s Super Falcons which made an international debut in a 5-1 defeat of Ghana on February 16, 1991 and has become the first Nigerian to be listed for the prestigious FIFA awards. Coach Omagbemi led Nigeria to an eighth continental title in Cameroon last year. She is one of the 10 names on the list for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach.

The 27-year-old Aubameyang on the other hand was the top scorer in the Bundesliga last season with 31 goals for Borussia Dortmund

Among the 24 men’s nominees for the best male player award are Ronaldo’s Real Madrid teammates Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos, Marcelo, Luka Modric, Keylor Navas and Sergio Ramos.

The list also includes Barcelona rivals Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, as well as Paris Saint-Germain’s record signing Neymar.

Champions League finalists with Juventus, Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and teammate Paulo Dybala are also in the running, alongside former Juventus player Leonardo Bonucci, who has since signed for AC Milan.

The other nominees include Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Harry Kane (Tottenham), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) and Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich).

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane heads the list of 12 nominees for the men’s coach of the year award.

Other candidates include Antonio Conte, who led Chelsea to the English title, Manchester United’s Europa League-winning coach Jose Mourinho and Massimiliano Allegri of Juventus.
Zidane has enjoyed a glorious year in charge of Madrid as they successfully defended the European Cup – the first team to do so in the Champions League era.

Real also won La Liga, the first time they had been champions of Spain and Europe in the same year since 1958.
He has won seven trophies since succeeding Rafael Benitez as coach of Madrid in January last year, including the Uefa Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup this month.

Last year’s winner Carli Lloyd of the United States is one of ten nominees for the women’s award. The Houston Dash midfielder had a loan spell at Manchester City last season.

Barcelona forward Lieke Martens and Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema, both winners of the women’s Euro 2017 with the Netherlands, are also on the list.

The winners are to be decided by a jury of club and international coaches, media representatives and fans.
The prize – one of a new set of awards organised by FIFA following their split with Ballon d’Or organisers France Football magazine – will be handed over in London on October 23.