Zurich | Argentine footballer Lionel Messi has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the best player in the world for the fifth time, while US midfielder Carli Lloyd has claimed her first-ever FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award. FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique Martínez and US national team coach Jill Ellis have also been named for the first time as FIFA World Coaches of the Year for Men’s and Women’s Football respectively. The winners were chosen by the coaches and captains of the national teams as well as by international media representatives invited by FIFA and France Football. The entire electoral procedure was overseen and monitored by PricewaterhouseCoopers Switzerland (PwC).
The awards were presented on Monday evening during a 90-minute show at Zurich’s Kongresshaus that was hosted by Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt and British journalist Kate Abdo. The musical entertainment for the 1,100 guests and TV viewers in over 190 countries and territories around the world was provided by British pop star Leona Lewis and young Croatian cellists Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser, known as 2CELLOS.
This year’s FIFA Fair Play Award was presented to all the football organisations and clubs around the world that are working to support refugees. Former German international Gerald Asamoah, who campaigns for the welfare of refugees, received the award from former South African icon Lucas Radebe on behalf of all the awardees.
The FIFA FIFPro World XI also was announced: Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich) in goal; Dani Alves (Brazil/FC Barcelona), Marcelo (Brazil/Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid) and Thiago Silva (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain) in defence; Andrés Iniesta (Spain/FC Barcelona), Luka Modrić (Croatia/Real Madrid) and Paul Pogba (France/Juventus) in midfield; and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona) and Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona) in attack.
The FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year was won by Brazilian Wendell Lira from Goianésia.
Messi was an influential figure in all the titles claimed by FC Barcelona in 2015: La Liga, the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. The No10 is scorer of 48 goals in all competitions over the course of the calendar year.
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