FIFA's prestigious year-end awards have each been whittled down to three finalists. The awards all have new names, precipitated by the fact that FIFA will no longer award the Ballon d’Or award that originated in France, but the selection process is almost the same as it has been in recent previous years. One key difference is that fans can now vote, although the fan vote is one weight among votes from players, coaches and media members. Either way, these awards are the top honor a player or coach can earn, and here are the three finalists in each category, with the winners set to be announced January 9.
It's been a constant battle between Ronaldo and Messi over recent years, but fresh off winning the European Championship with Portugal, the Real Madrid man looks poised to take the title back for 2016.
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He led Argentina to the Copa America final, which his side lost in heartbreaking penalty kicks. He also helped Barcelona take home the La Liga and Copa del Rey titles. He's always pretty much amazing and this year was no exception, even if he doesn't appear to be the favorite on paper.
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He was excellent through the European Championship and helped lead France to the final. He won the Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament, with six goals and two assists in seven matches. On the club level, he had a great year too, helping Atletico Madrid make the Champions League final.
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While there was no World Cup final hat trick like the one that earned her last year's award, 2016 was a darn good year for Lloyd. She scored 17 goals and 11 assists in 21 games for the USWNT in 2016, and she scored twice during the USWNT's Olympics campaign. Her campaign for the Houston Dash was a bit less spectacular, but in an Olympics year, voters will mostly be looking at her international performance.
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Always a contender for this award, Marta was the driving force behind Brazil's Olympics campaign in Rio. Her dazzling abilities were enough to get Brazil into the third-place match. The voters probably won't be looking at her club performance, but she's had a great year with Rosengard, too.
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She led the Olympics with five goals, and she led the team that won the gold medal. She has retired from the German national team, so she could go out on a high note if she nabs the award.
The undisputed frontrunner of this category, Ranieri led Leicester City's stunning run to win the English Premier League. In a league brimming with the world's most star power and money, Leicester City proved that underdogs can still surprise everyone, and Ranieri's excellent team management and tactical approach is a big reason for it.
He led Portugal to their first major trophy in the country's history, but Portugal was less than impressive in the early goings on the tournament. Although the trophy is all that matters in the end, with Claudio Ranieri nominated too, Santos doesn't seem like a favorite.
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For a somewhat new coach, Zidane certainly seems to have the hang of the job. He led Real Madrid to a Champions League title, and it's hard to argue with that.
Fresh of a World Cup win, Ellis made 2016 about building a team for the future. She did that by bringing in exciting new talent like Mallory Pugh and others. Ultimately, she didn't get the tactics or the game management right in the Olympics quarterfinal where the USWNT lost to Sweden, so it would be a surprise to see her win, despite the USWNT's dominance the rest of the year.
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She led Germany to their first Olympic gold medal, getting the last remaining big title before stepping down. Germany has a lot of talent, to be sure, but Neid has consistently gotten the most out of them through the right system and excellent game management.
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After early struggles in the Olympics group stage, Sundhage got her tactics right, knowing the deficiences of her Swede roster. She knocked out the world champion USWNT, dispatched Brazil to the third-medal round and ultimately left Rio with silver medals after falling to Germany.