Interesting facts about the FIFA Awards
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo won the Best FIFA Men's Player Award 2017 in the recently concluded ceremony in London. While it was the only second year of 'The Best FIFA Football Awards', there is a long history behind these awards. Let us have a look at how the FIFA awards have evolved over the years and some facts about the most prestigious trophy in football.
FIFA World Player of the Year
Previously, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) presented the FIFA World Player of the Year awards. The awards were held annually from 1991 to 2009 for the male football players, while for female footballers the awards were presented from 2001 till 2015 . Both Zinedine Zidane and Brazil's Ronaldo have won the award three times, followed by Ronaldinho, who has won it twice.
Brazilian Marta has won the best footballer award 5 times
Brazilian football player Marta Vieira da Silva won the 'Best Female Player' award for five consecutive times (2006 to 2010). No male player has ever been able to achieve this feat.
FIFA's association with French magazine
In 2010, the FIFA Player of the Year award was merged with France Football's Ballon d'Or. The newly named FIFA Ballon d'Or award was given to the best male football player in the world and the winner was selected on the basis of votes of journalists, national team coaches and captains. Lionel Messi has won it four times, while Cristiano Ronaldo has won twice.
FIFA and Ballon d'Or end alliance
After six years, FIFA ended the association with Ballon d'Or. As a result, from 2016, the Ballon d'Or is now given separately, while FIFA started its own awards to honour the best players.
The Best FIFA Football Awards
After ending association with France Football, FIFA introduced the 'Best FIFA Football Awards' in 2016. To promote these awards, FIFA brought in new categories. Apart from giving the awards to best players, FIFA started the best coach (men's and women's), best goalkeeper, best fans, best goal of the year and fair play awards.
Ronaldo wins two awards in a row
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Best FIFA Men's Football Player for two consecutive years (2016 and 2017). In 2017, Zinedine Zidane was named the best coach, while Lieke Martens won the Best FIFA Women's Football Player award.