FIFA World Player of the Year
The FIFA World Player of the Year was an association football award presented annually by the sport's governing body, FIFA, since 1991. Originally an honour bestowed on the world's best male player, it was awarded to both sexes from 2001, and from 2010 presented exclusively to the best female player. Coaches and captains of international teams and media representatives selected the player they deem to have performed the best in the previous calendar year.
During the men's era, Brazilian players won 8 out of 19 years, compared to three wins – the second most – for French players. In terms of individual players, Brazil again led with five, followed by Italy and Portugal with two each. The youngest winner was Ronaldo, who won at 20 years old in 1996, and the oldest winner was Fabio Cannavaro, who won aged 33 in 2006. Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane each won the award three times, while Ronaldo and Ronaldinho were the only players to win in successive years. From 2010 to 2015, the equivalent men's award was the FIFA Ballon d'Or.
Eight female players – three Germans, three Americans, one Brazilian, and one Japanese – have won the award. Marta, the youngest recipient at age 20 in 2006, has won five successive awards, the most of any player. Birgit Prinz won three times in a row and Mia Hamm won twice in a row. The oldest winner is Nadine Angerer, who was 35 when she won in 2013; she is also the only goalkeeper of either sex to win.
Voting and selection process
The winners are chosen by the coaches and captains of national teams as well as by international media representatives invited by FIFA. In a voting system based on positional voting, each voter is allotted three votes, worth five points, three points and one point, and the three finalists are ordered based on total number of points. Following criticism from some sections of the media over nominations in previous years, FIFA has since 2004 provided shortlists from which its voters can select their choices.
List of male winners
Wins by player
|Zinedine Zidane||3 (1998, 2000, 2003)||1 (2006)||2 (1997, 2002)|
|Ronaldo||3 (1996, 1997, 2002)||1 (1998)||1 (2003)|
|Ronaldinho||2 (2004, 2005)||—||1 (2006)|
|Lionel Messi||1 (2009)||2 (2007, 2008)||—|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||1 (2008)||1 (2009)||1 (2007)|
|Luís Figo||1 (2001)||1 (2000)||—|
|Romário||1 (1994)||1 (1993)||—|
|George Weah||1 (1995)||1 (1996)||—|
|Roberto Baggio||1 (1993)||—||1 (1994)|
|Rivaldo||1 (1999)||—||1 (2000)|
|Marco van Basten||1 (1992)||—||—|
|Fabio Cannavaro||1 (2006)||—||—|
|Lothar Matthäus||1 (1991)||—||—|
Wins by country
Wins by club
List of female players
In 2016, FIFA created The Best FIFA Women's Player award instead.
Wins by player
|Marta||5 (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)||4 (2005, 2011, 2012, 2014)||2 (2004, 2013)|
|Birgit Prinz||3 (2003, 2004, 2005)||5 (2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)||—|
|Mia Hamm||2 (2001, 2002)||2 (2003, 2004)||—|
|Abby Wambach||1 (2012)||1 (2013)||2 (2011, 2014)|
|Homare Sawa||1 (2011)||—||—|
|Nadine Angerer||1 (2013)||—||—|
|Nadine Keßler||1 (2014)||—||—|
|Carli Lloyd||1 (2015)||—||—|
Wins by country
Wins by club
|1. FFC Frankfurt||1||3|
|INAC Kobe Leonessa||1||1|
- Ballon d'Or
- FIFA Ballon d'Or
- FIFPro World Player of the Year
- The Best FIFA Men's Player
- The Best FIFA Women's Player
- Weah was signed by Milan from Paris Saint-Germain midway through 1995.
- Klinsmann was signed by Bayern Munich from Tottenham Hotspur midway through 1995.
- Ronaldo was signed by Barcelona from PSV Eindhoven midway through 1996.
- Shearer was signed by Newcastle United from Blackburn Rovers midway through 1996.
- Figo was signed by Real Madrid from Barcelona midway through 2000.
- Ronaldo was signed by Real Madrid from Internazionale midway through 2002.
- Cannavaro was signed by Real Madrid from Juventus midway through 2006.
- Cristiano Ronaldo was signed by Real Madrid from Manchester United midway through 2009.
- Cristiane was signed by Corinthians from Linköpings F.C. midway through 2008.
- Marta was signed by Santos from Los Angeles Sol midway through 2009.
- Smith was signed by Boston Breakers from Arsenal Ladies midway through 2009.
- Marta was signed by Western New York Flash from Santos midway through 2011.
- Angerer was signed by Brisbane Roar from 1. FFC Frankfurt midway through 2013.
- Marta was signed by FC Rosengård from Tyresö FF midway through 2014.
- "FACTSheet FIFA awards" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "FIFA Awards". RSSSF.com. Retrieved 1 April 2013
- "Brazil legend Ronaldo retires from football". BBC. Retrieved 17 November 2013
- "Cannavaro discusses highs and lows". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 18 November 2013
- "The FIFA Ballon d'Or is born". FIFA.com. Retrieved 12 January 2016
- "FIFA Ballon d'Or World Player of the Year: Award History". FIFA.com. Retrieved 12 January 2016
- "Messi, Lloyd, Luis Enrique and Ellis triumph at FIFA Ballon d'Or 2015". FIFA. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- FIFA.com - Thirty-five stars make Zurich shortlist