The final nominees for a host of The Best FIFA Football Awards™ have been revealed at an event in London with USA’s Carli Lloyd, Venezuela’s Deyna Castellanos and Netherlands’ Lieke Martens named as the The Best Player finalists.
Lloyd is the incumbent having won the prize in 2015 and 2016. 18 year old striker Castellanos was nominated for her eye catching performances at the 2016 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup while Martens was recognised for a stellar year for club and country.
The Dutch forward is the heavy favourite in the eyes of many respected journalists after assisting the Netherlands to the EURO 2017 title. Martens was voted the Player of the Tournament and the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year.
The three finalists were the top number of votes as determined by women’s football journalists, fans, national team coaches and captains.
Controversy reigned following the announcement of the finalists with Denmark’s Pernille Harder and Australia’s Sam Kerr noticeable absentees from the top 3.
Current and former players (including two former World Player of the Year winners), journalists, Matildas and fans like were asking questions on social media.
Hey @samkerr1, know this: 1) you deserved to be in the top three. 2) be patient, the whole world WILL know your name. 3) you're the best
— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) September 22, 2017
— Nadine Angerer (@NAngerer) September 23, 2017
— Jessica Fishlock (@JessFishlock) September 22, 2017
— Ariane Hingst (@AriHingst) September 22, 2017
Going to need someone to walk me through how @samkerr1 is NOT on short list for FIFA player of the year… Dumbfounded right now ?
— Kelley O'Hara (@kohara19) September 22, 2017
— Julie Foudy (@JulieFoudy) September 22, 2017
I vote for @samkerr1 for FIFA women's player of the year. Oh wait… the worlds best player THIS YEAR isn't a finalist ?
— Abby Erceg (@aerceg5) September 22, 2017
— Janine Van Wyk (@Janinevanwyk5) September 22, 2017
Sam Kerr not being in the FIFA list for best player in 2017 is actually further evidence she is the best player in 2017.
— thrace (@thrace) September 22, 2017
I think there must be some sort of mistake ? #rigged
— Caitlin Foord (@CaitlinFoord) September 22, 2017
When u think the women's game was movin 4ward n the political bull? Has stopped…U hear da final 3 nominees n think we have long way 2 go!
— Lisa De Vanna (@lisadevanna11) September 22, 2017
During the nomination window, Matildas forward Sam Kerr had a big 12 months scoring 30 goals for her clubs and the Matildas.
The goals started early as she helped Perth Glory to the 2017 W-League Grand Final with 10 goals and 4 assists in 13 games.
The form followed in the National Women’s Soccer League with 16 goals and 4 assists for Sky Blue FC.
With the Matildas the pacy striker has also been running red hot with seven goals and three assists in nine matches for Australia including 7 goals in her last 4 appearances for the Matildas.
The Perth native has already received a host of accolades in 2017 including the Julie Dolan Medal for W-League Player of the Year, her second PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year award and capturing the NWSL all-time leading goal scorer title.
The full nominees were Lucy BRONZE (ENG), Deyna CASTELLANOS (VEN), Pernille HARDER (DEN), Samantha KERR (AUS), Carli LLOYD (USA), Dzsenifer MAROZSAN (GER), Lieke MARTENS (NED), Vivianne MIEDEMA (NED), Wendie RENARD (FRA), Jodie TAYLOR (ENG)
Coach of the Year
Sara Wiegman leads the list of the Women’s Coach of the Year finalists after coaching the Netherlands to their first European title. The top three consists of all European contenders with Denmark’s Nils Nielsen – who led the Danes to the EURO 2017 final – and Lyon’s UEFA Women’s Champions League winning coach Gerard Precheur also in the running.
The full nominees were Olivier ECHOUAFNI (France), Emma HAYES (England), Ralf KELLERMANN (Germany), Xavier LLORENS (Spain), Nils NIELSEN (Denmark), Florence OMAGBEMI (Nigeria), Gerard PRECHEUR (France), Dominik THALHAMMER (Austria), Sarina WIEGMAN (Netherlands), HWANG Yongbong (DPR Korea)
FIFA Football Awards
All the awards, along with the FIFA Best Goalkeeper, FIFA Puskás Award for best goal, the FIFA Fair Play Award and the FIFA Fan Award, will be presented at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London on 23 October 2017.