The Best FIFA coaches and the players will be awarded on 23rd September 2019 in Milan.

After a hectic footballing season, it is time for the footballers and the coaches to earn their deserved plaudits. The FIFA-organised “The Best” Awards are back with the four most coveted and prestigious individual awards in football.

The 10 nominees in those four categories are finally out and it will be on 23rd September 2019 when the best Women’s and the Men’s Coach and the best Women’s and the Men’s player will be awarded the trophy.

Do remember, out of all the domestic trophies, this year had a special international calendar which saw six continental tournaments. AFC Asian Cup, UEFA Nations League, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Copa America, Gold Cup and the AFCON – all in a span of 7 months – taking the fight of being the best player or a coach in the world to a whole new level.

The nominations of The Best FIFA Women’s Coach are as follows:

Milena Bertolini– She managed the Italian women’s national football team to their first FIFA World Cup in two decades and the Le Azzurre reached the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time since 1991.

Jill Ellis– One of the top candidates to bag this glorious honour, as her heroics with the United States women’s national football team is no mystery. Ellis has guided the Stars and Stripes to their consecutive second World Cup title in her five-year stint.

Peter Gerhardsson– Led the Sweden women’s national team to the FIFA World Cup bronze, which was the country’s best finish since 2011. His team also defeated Canada in the round of 16 and overcame the mighty Germans in the quarters, before losing out against the Netherlands in the semis.

But they defeated England in their third-place match to clinch bronze.

Futoshi Ikeda– He guided the Japan U-20 women’s national team to their first FIFA U-20 women’s World Cup. The Asian side defeated England and Spain in semis and finals respectively to win the coveted cup.

Antonia Is Pinera– She was the mastermind behind Spain’s dominance in age group women’s football. Under her tutelage, they won the U-17 World Cup and also the U-17 Women’s EURO.

Joe Montemurro– The American tactician led his side, Arsenal Women to the FA Women’s League victory and even did the double by winning the Women’s League Cup.

Phil Neville– The former footballer guided the England Women’s national team to a praiseworthy fourth finish, as they lost out against the USA in the semis and also fell short against Sweden in the third-place match. The Lionesses also won the She Believes Cup under his tutelage.

Reynald Pedros– The French tactician was the mastermind behind Lyon’s dominance in women’s football last season. Pedros won the French League with Lyon and also bagged the glorious Women’s Champions League title.

Paul Riley– He guided his side, New Carolina Courage to National Women’s Soccer League victory and also won the inaugural Women’s International Champions Cup. Riley was also named the NSWL coach of the year 2018.

Sarina Weigman– She marshalled a young Dutch side to their first-ever FIFA women’s world cup final in their second FIFA world cup appearance. Despite losing out in the finals her team showed great fight throughout the tournament.

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Second in the queue, The Best FIFA Men’s coach of the year:

Djamel Belmadi– The Algerian national team coach end the 29-year-long dry spell, as the Desert Foxes defeated Senegal and clinched the 2018 Africa Cup of Nations.

Didier Deschamps– The former player turned manager brought a renaissance in French football after winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He also guided the Les Blues to top their Euro qualifying group.

Marcelo Gallardo– The Argentine tactician masterminded River Plate’s Copa Libertadores win and also clinched the Recopa Sudamericana. The Los Millionarios also finished third in Club World Cup under his guidance.

Ricardo Gareca– Second Argentine in the nominations, but Gareca was exceptional with his tactics with Peru in the Copa America. The Los Incas might have lost to Brazil in the finals but this was their best performance since 1975.

Pep Guardiola– The Spaniard is a well-known figure in the football fraternity but his heroics with manchester City in winning the Premier League and also clinching the Carabao Cup and FA Cup keeps him in good stead in winning the award, despite his team’s quarterfinal exit in the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp– The German tactician is favourite to bag this award after clinching the Champions League with Liverpool. He also guided the Red to a record points finish in the Premier League as they ended just a point behind Manchester City.

Mauricio Pochettino– Third Argentine in the list but Pochettino was superb for Spurs last season, guiding them to the Champions League finale and also earned a top-four finish in the Premier League. He achieved everything without even spending a penny in the transfer market last season.

Fernando Santos– The mastermind behind Portugal’s Euro win and he has not stopped there. Santos knows how to deal with his youngsters and he has once again shown that with Portugal’s UEFA Nations League win.

Erik Ten Hag– From being Pep Guardiola’s assistant to guiding Ajax to Champions League semis, Erik Ten Hag has come a long way. His young Ajax side defeated record champions Real Madrid and Juventus in the route to semis, where they lost against Spurs having enjoyed the lead for most of the game. He also guided Ajax to a domestic double.

Tite– The experienced Brazilian tactician inspired the Brazil national team to fight all odds and lift their ninth Copa America title after twelve years by beating Peru in the finals. The Selecaos conceded only once in their route to the title.

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The busy evening even got busier as “The Best” Women’s Player nominations are out:

Lucy Bronze– The 27-year-old England international was one of the stalwarts in Neville’s side at the FIFA women’s World Cup. Hence she bagged the Silver Ball at the quadrennial tournament. She also won the treble with Lyon.

Julie Ertz– The United states midfielder won the FIFA women’s World Cup. Julie also reached the NWSL playoffs with his team Chicago Red Stars and scored eight goals along with seven assists in her route to NWsL playoffs.

Caroline Hansen– The 24-year old Norweigian winger guided his side to the FIFA World Cup quarterfinals and scored some crucial goals in the group stages. She also clinched the domestic double with Wolfsburg earning a move to Barcelona for the upcoming season.

Ada Hegerberg– The Norweigian forward has been a talisman for Lyon in their route to treble last season. Hegerberg has played a pivotal role in their success as she scored a hattrick in the finals of Women’s Champions League.

Amandine Henry– The 29-year old France international was stalwart in midfield for the Les Blues in the FIFA women’s World Cup. Henry was also a vital cog for Pedras’ Lyon side which won the treble.

Samantha Kerr– The Australian footballer in the list, Kerr has been had a terrific year with Chicago Red Stars as she ended her NWSL campaign being the top scorer. The 25-year old was also the top scorer in Westfield Women’s League and scored five goals for Australia in the Women’s World Cup in four matches.

Rose Lavelle– Another United States player, who actually scored the winner against the Netherlands in the finals to seal the title. She also won the Bronze Ball for her feat in the quadrennial tournament.

Viviane Miedema– Only Dutch player to feature in the nominations, Miedema has been in superb form for club and country. The 23-year-old scored three goals in their route to the finals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She also won the FA Women’s Super League with Arsenal and finished top scorer there. Miedema was also named the PFA Player of the Year.

Alex Morgan– One of the most influential footballers in the United States World Cup win. Morgan bagged the Silver Boot just behind her compatriot. The 30-year-old forward scored six goals and mustered three assists in the tournament. She was also adjudged as the CONCACAF women’s player of the year.

Megan Rapinoe– She captained the United States Women’s national team to World Cup victory. She also bagged both the Golden Boot and Ball for her heroics in France.

Wendie Renard– One of the players who inspired Lyon to win the treble and also scored four goals in the Les Blues’ journey to the quarter-finals. The 29-year-old centre back was rock solid at the back with both club and country.

Ellen White– The England international scored six goals in the FIFA women’s World Cup and inspired the Lionesses to reach the semifinals and eventually finish fourth. White bagged the Bronze Boot for her impressive performances at the global stage.

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The focus then shifts to the most exciting segment as “The Best” Men’s footballer nominations were revealed:

The Best Men’s Player nominations are:

Cristiano Ronaldo– The talismanic forward guided Portugal to UEFA Nations League victory and also won the Serie A with Juventus. He also bagged the Serie A “MVP” award.

Frenkie De Jong– The former Ajax midfielder was one of the emerging stars in Eredivisie and inspired his side to win the domestic double under Erik Ten Hag. The Dutch champions also had a great journey to the Champions League semifinals. De jong was named the Eredivisie Player of the Year last season.

Matthijs De Ligt– Just like De Jong, De Ligt also had a similar story. The young defender was one of the standout performers for Ajax, as he captained the side to a domestic double and reached the semis of the Champions League. His impressive performances earned him a transfer to Juventus.

Eden Hazard– The Belgian forward was a talisman for club and country. He inspired Chelsea to the Europa League title and also finished as their top scorer in all competitions last season. His impressive performances earned him the PFA Fan’s Player of the Year.

Harry Kane– The England international has been a mainstay for Spurs and the Three Lions upfront. He guided Mauricio Pochettino’s men to their maiden Champions League final and also scored 17 goals for the Lillywhites in the Premier League last season.

Sadio Mane– One of the favourites to win the award, the Senegalese forward inspired his side, Liverpool to Champions League win and also ended as joint top scorer in the Premier League. He also played a crucial role in guiding Senegal to the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Kylian Mbappe– Another young and hot prospect in football currently, the Frenchman has been a metronome for PSG, inspiring them to run riot in Ligue 1. The 20-year old also bagged the Ligue 1 player of the year along with the golden boot.

Lionel Messi– A very well known name and a regular customer in these nominations. The Argentine forward has been a sensational for both club and country. He inspired FC Barcelona to win the La Liga and also finished as Champions League semi-finalist. Messi guided Argentina in the Copa America as the Albiceleste claimed bronze. The 32-year-old Barcelona man also won the European Golden Shoe.

Mohamed Salah– The Egyptian had a superb season just like his Liverpool teammates in the nominations. Salah was in his known goalscoring form as he ended the campaign being Liverpool’s top goalscorer in all competitions. He also finished the Premier League being joint top scorer with Aubameyang and Mane.

Virgil van Dijk– The Dutchman is one of the most talked-about players from last season. The former Southampton centre back had great impact in the Liverpool defence and played a crucial role in their Champions League victory. He also guided his country to the UEFA Nations League finals. Van Dijk was named the PFA and Premier League Player of the Year. His astute defensive attributes and knack of scoring crucial goals keeps him in good stead to win the award.

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