After nearly a month of voting, nominations were closed yesterday for the It’s Football Not Soccer 2016 Awards and we have our final three for the World Player of the Year, World Young Player of the Year and World Coach of the Year accolades.
As you can tell by the title, there was a massive surprise in the voting for the World Player of the Year award as last year’s winner and a player who many consider the greatest of all time, Lionel Messi, has not made the top three. So here are your three nominees for each award in alphabetical order:
World Player of the Year
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid & France)
A player who didn’t even make the top 10 in 2015, Antoine Griezmann has had the best year of his career so far, winning the Player of the Tournament award at Euro 2016 as France reached the final. Is also on FIFA’s top three shortlist.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Last year’s number three might now be 31 years old, but Cristiano Ronaldo remains at the top of his game. He finally achieved international glory with Portugal at Euro 2016, having also lifted the Champions League trophy less than two months previously. Is also on FIFA’s top three shortlist.
Luis Suarez (Barcelona & Uruguay)
Making up an all-La Liga top three, Luis Suarez is however the only one of the infamous Barcelona attack to make the shortlist. Was fourth on the list in 2015, and has not made FIFA’s final three, but did win the European Golden Shoe back in May.
World Young Player of the Year
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur & England)
For the second year running, an English and Tottenham youngster makes the shortlist. Dele Alli picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award for the 2015-16 season as Spurs finished third in the Premier League – their best league finish since 1963.
Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich & France)
The winner of three trophies with Bayern Munich this year, Kingsley Coman also starred at Euro 2016 in his home country as France reached the final. The winger was nominated for the tournament’s Best Young Player award. He remains on loan in Germany from Italian champions Juventus.
Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich & Portugal)
The winner of that Best Young Player award at Euro 2016 was Renato Sanches, who was the youngest member of Portugal’s winning squad. He has also been named European Golden Boy for 2016, and earned a €35 million move to Bayern Munich in the summer after winning the treble with Benfica.
World Coach of the Year
Chris Coleman (Wales)
In Wales’ first ever European Championships and first tournament appearance since 1958, Chris Coleman took the Dragons all the way to the semi-finals at Euro 2016 – with the most impressive result being a 3-1 victory over Belgium in the quarter-finals.
Claudio Ranieri (Leicester City)
Even at this festive time of year you wouldn’t see a miracle greater than that of Leicester City. Claudio Ranieri guided his team of unlikely heroes to their first ever Premier League title in 2016, becoming the first ‘new’ winners of the English top flight since 1977.
Fernando Santos (Portugal)
They had the expansion of the competition to thank, but Portugal were the surprising winners of Euro 2016 as they beat hosts France in the final after extra time. Fernando Santos was the man at the helm who guided his nation to their first ever major international trophy.