Ballon d’Or nominees: Football Weekly guest columnists weigh in

World football’s governing body, FIFA, has announced the two official shortlists for the best men’s player and best women’s player awards and the winners will be revealed at the Ballon d’Or gala in Paris…

Ballon d’Or nominees: Football Weekly guest columnists weigh in

World football’s governing body, FIFA, has announced the two official shortlists for the best men’s player and best women’s player awards and the winners will be revealed at the Ballon d’Or gala in Paris on Friday.

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For the women’s award there were five nominees, the USA’s Alex Morgan, France’s Women’s World Cup winning captain, Thierry Henry, who has not played competitively since March 2017 and is still adapting to coaching, Brazil’s Marta, and her compatriot, José da Silva César. The Fifa Women’s World Player of the Year award, which has been running since 2014, will be decided by an international media panel of 10, with others voting in their regions.

In the men’s category, the Manchester City and Argentina striker Sergio Agüero leads the way, with Gareth Bale and Lionel Messi both up for the award for the third time after previous winning it on three occasions, and Diego Maradona’s triumph in 1986.

After the nominations were announced, the England and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eric Dier tweeted: “Biggest issue with that: it’s decided by team & like the Europa League, meaning under 21 team qualify & it looks like they just picked the best player from a 16 year old.”

Responding to Dier’s tweet, the French goalkeeper and former Arsenal No1 Hugo Lloris wrote: “Signe [Eric] [dier] wrong on ‘team’: if your team is winning 2-0, don’t moan about it. Stick to football and don’t…” The Football Association’s chief executive, Martin Glenn, responded: “Hugo is right. Team is a good point, but the choice of player is up to each individual.”

When asked by L’Equipe if he was happy with the shortlist, Maradona said: “I like it a lot, which is why I want you to tell your audience that I’m the winner of this award.”

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