This article is about the current women's World Player of the Year award, formerly also presented to men. For the new men's World Player of the Year award, see FIFA Ballon d'Or.
Brazilians Ronaldo and Marta, the youngest recipients at age 20, won three and five awards respectively.
The FIFA World Player of the Year is 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 since 2010 has been presented exclusively to the best female player. Coaches and captains of international teams and media representatives select 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 18 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. Since 2010, the equivalent men's award is 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.
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.