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The FIFAmarker World Player of the Year is an association football award given annually to the male and female player who are thought to be the best in the world, based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams. In a voting system based on positional voting, each coach gets three votes, worth five points, three points and one point, and the winners are ordered based on total number of points. The male award has been criticized for focusing mainly on players from the UEFA Champions League and largely ignoring players from the South American Copa Libertadores, which has produced more world club champions than Europe. The international leagues of the remaining confederations are also completely ignored.

The award started in 1991 for men and 2001 for women. Since the award's inception, European-based Brazilian players have dominated the male awards, having won 8 out of 18 editions of the prize, far ahead of the top second country France, which has won it 3 times.

The award's youngest winner, male or female, is Ronaldo, who won at the age of 20 in 1996. He won it again in 1997 and 2002. Birgit Prinz and Marta are the only players to win three times in a row, while Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Mia Hamm have won twice in a row. Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Prinz, and Marta are the only three-time winners. The oldest winner is Fabio Cannavaro who won in 2006 at age 33. The oldest female winner is Hamm, who won in 2002 at age 30, and the youngest female winner is Marta, who won in 2006 at age 20 (seven months older than Ronaldo in 1996).

Nomination and selection process

Following criticism from some sections of the media over some questionable nominations in previous years, in 2004 FIFA drew up a shortlist of 35 men and 21 women from which national team managers and, for the first time, team captains and representatives from FIFPro (the worldwide representative organization for professional players) could vote.

Another criticism brought up against the men's nominations is that no player in activity outside of Europe has ever been nominated for the award. Juan Román Riquelme is the only player nominated for the annual award who played for a team outside Europe within the year, on loan to Boca Juniors from Villarreal for the first half of 2007. Although players from several nationalities, of three continents, have been nominated and won the award, they were all playing for European clubs at the time of their nomination or victory.

It has also been suggested that players active in the leagues of other top non-European nations (such as the Argentine, the Brazilian, or the Mexican Leagues), are generally overlooked for the award. Brazilian club teams won the first three editions of the FIFA Club World Cup, yet not one player from those teams was nominated for the men's world player of the year award, whereas the European champions that the Brazilian club teams beat in the last two finals had more than a few players nominated for the award.

Winners

List of male winners

Year Rank Player Nationality Club
1991

Details
1st Lothar Matthäus Internazionale
2nd Jean-Pierre Papin Marseille
3rd Gary Lineker Tottenham Hotspur
1992

Details
1st Marco van Basten Milan
2nd Hristo Stoichkov Barcelona
3rd Thomas Häßler AS Roma
1993

Details
1st Roberto Baggio Juventus
2nd Romário Barcelona

PSV Eindhoven
3rd Dennis Bergkamp Internazionale

Ajax
1994

Details
1st Romário Barcelona
2nd Hristo Stoichkov Barcelona
3rd Roberto Baggio Juventus
1995

Details
1st George Weah Milan

Paris Saint-Germain
2nd Paolo Maldini Milan
3rd Jürgen Klinsmann Bayern Munich

Tottenham Hotspur
1996

Details
1st Ronaldo Barcelona

PSV Eindhoven
2nd George Weah Milan
3rd Alan Shearer Newcastle United

Blackburn Roversmarker
1997

Details
1st Ronaldo Internazionale

Barcelona
2nd Roberto Carlos Real Madrid
3rd

(tie)
Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal
Zinedine Zidane Juventus
1998

Details
1st Zinedine Zidane Juventus
2nd Ronaldo Internazionale
3rd Davor Šuker Real Madrid
1999

Details
1st Rivaldo Barcelona
2nd David Beckham Manchester United
3rd Gabriel Batistuta Fiorentina
2000

Details
1st Zinedine Zidane Juventus
2nd Luís Figo Real Madrid

Barcelona
3rd Rivaldo Barcelona
2001

Details
1st Luís Figo Real Madrid
2nd David Beckham Manchester United
3rd Raul Gonzalez Blanco Real Madrid
2002

Details
1st Ronaldo Real Madrid

Internazionale
2nd Oliver Kahn Bayern Munich
3rd Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid
2003

Details
1st Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid
2nd Thierry Henry Arsenal
3rd Ronaldo Real Madrid
2004

Details
1st Ronaldinho Barcelona
2nd Thierry Henry Arsenal
3rd Andriy Shevchenko Milan
2005

Details
1st Ronaldinho Barcelona
2nd Frank Lampard Chelsea
3rd Samuel Eto'o Barcelona
2006

Details
1st Fabio Cannavaro Real Madrid

Juventus
2nd Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid
3rd Ronaldinho Barcelona
2007

Details
1st Kaká Milan
2nd Lionel Messi Barcelona
3rd Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United
2008

Details
1st Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United
2nd Lionel Messi Barcelona
3rd Fernando Torres Liverpoolmarker


Wins by country

Table of winners categorised by the player's nationality (not the nationality of his club).

Country First place Second place Third place
1 8 3 3
2 3 (1998, 2000, 2003) 4 (1991, 2003, 2004, 2006) 2 (1997*, 2002)
3 2 (1993, 2006) 1 (1995) 1 (1994)
3 2 (2001, 2008) 1 (2000) 1 (2007)
5 1 (1991) 1 (2002) 2 (1992, 1995)
6 1 (1995) 1 (1996) 0
7 1 (1992) 0 2 (1993, 1997*)
8 0 3 2
9 0 2 (2007, 2008) 1 (1999)
10 0 2 (1992, 1994) 0
11 0 0 2 (2001, 2008)
12 0 0 1 (1998)
12 0 0 1 (2004)
12 0 0 1 (2005)
* There was a tie for that place

Wins by club

Club First place Second place Third place
1 Barcelona 6 (1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005) 6 (1992, 1993*, 1994, 2000**, 2007, 2008) 3 (2000, 2003, 2006)
2 Real Madrid 4 (2001, 2002*, 2003, 2006*) 3 (1997, 2000*, 2006) 4 (1998, 2001, 2002, 2003)
3 Juventus 4 (1993, 1998, 2000, 2006**) 0 2 (1994, 1997)
4 Milan 3 (1992, 1995*, 2007) 2 (1995, 1996) 1 (2004)
5 Internazionale 3 (1991, 1997*, 2002**) 1 (1998) 1 (1993*)
6 Manchester United 1 (2008) 2 (1999, 2001) 1 (2007)
7 PSV Eindhoven 1 (1996**) 1 (1993**) 0
8 Paris Saint-Germain 1 (1995**) 0 0
9 Arsenal 0 2 (2003, 2004) 1 (1997)
10 Bayern Munich 0 1 (2002) 1 (1995*)
11 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0 2 (1991, 1995**)
12 Chelsea 0 1 (2005) 0
12 Marseille 0 1 (1991) 0
14 Fiorentina 0 0 1 (1999)
14 Liverpool 0 0 1 (2008)
14 Newcastle United 0 0 1 (1996*)
14 Blackburn Roversmarker 0 0 1 (1996**)
14 Ajax 0 0 1 (1993**)
14 Roma 0 0 1 (1992)
*''Player was a member of the club for the second half of the calendar year (''The '''first''' part of a new season - August to December'').''
**''Player was a member of the club for the first half of the calendar year (The '''second''' part of a finished season - January to May).''
***Player retired half way through the calendar year so was a member of the club only for the first half of the calendar year (The '
second part of a finished season - January to May).

List of female winners

Year Place Player Nationality Club
2001

Details
1st Mia Hamm Washington Freedom
2nd Tiffeny Milbrett New York Power
3rd Sun Wen Atlanta Beat
2002

Details
1st Mia Hamm Washington Freedom
2nd Birgit Prinz 1. FFC Frankfurt
3rd Sun Wen Atlanta Beat
2003

Details
1st Birgit Prinz 1. FFC Frankfurt
2nd Mia Hamm Washington Freedom
3rd Hanna Ljungberg Umeå IK
2004

Details
1st Birgit Prinz 1. FFC Frankfurt
2nd Mia Hamm W. Freedom retired
3rd Marta Umeå IK
2005

Details
1st Birgit Prinz 1. FFC Frankfurt
2nd Marta Umeå IK
3rd Shannon Boxx
2006

Details
1st Marta Umeå IK
2nd Kristine Lilly KIF Örebro DFF
3rd Renate Lingor 1. FFC Frankfurt
2007

Details
1st Marta Umeå IK
2nd Birgit Prinz 1. FFC Frankfurt
3rd Cristiane VfL Wolfsburg
2008

Details
1st Marta Umeå IK
2nd Birgit Prinz Frankfurt
3rd Cristiane Linköpings/ Corinthians


Players' all-time ranking by places (top 3)

Player First place Second place Third place
1 Birgit Prinz 3 3 0
2 Marta 3 1 1
3 Mia Hamm 2 2 0
4 Tiffeny Milbrett 0 1 0
Kristine Lilly 0 1 0
6 Sun Wen 0 0 2
Cristiane 0 0 2
8 Hanna Ljungberg 0 0 1
Shannon Boxx 0 0 1
Renate Lingor 0 0 1


Wins by country

Table of winners categorised by the player's nationality (not the nationality of her club).

Country First place Second place Third place
1 3 (2003, 2004, 2005) 3 (2002, 2007, 2008) 1 (2006)
2 3 (2006, 2007, 2008) 1 (2005) 3 (2004, 2007, 2008)
3 2 (2001, 2002) 4 (2001, 2003, 2004, 2006) 1 (2005)
4 0 0 2 (2001, 2002)
5 0 0 1 (2003)


Wins by club

Club First place Second place Third place
1 1. FFC Frankfurt 3 (2003, 2004, 2005) 3 (2002, 2007), 2008) 1 (2006)
2 Umeå IK 3 (2006, 2007, 2008) 1 (2005) 2 (2003, 2004)
3 Washington Freedom 2 (2001, 2002) 2 (2003, 2004) 0
4 KIF Örebro DFF 0 1 (2006) 0
New York Power 0 1 (2001) 0
6 Atlanta Beat 0 0 2 (2001, 2002)
7 VfL Wolfsburg 0 0 1 (2007)
Linköpings 0 0 1 (2008)
Corinthians 0 0 1 (2008)


See also



Notes and references

  1. FIFA.com - Thirty-five stars make Zurich shortlist



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