FIFA Short, Shortlist: Kaka, Messi, (Pretty) RonaldoBy: Martha | November 30th, 2007
It’s nice that, after screwing up the list of the finalists (No Totti, no Zlatan, but Patrick Vieira?!) for their World Player of the Year award, the voters managed to redeem FIFA by getting players against whom no one can argue into their final three: Either Lionel Messi, Ricky Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo will win the award when it’s announced on December 17.
On the women’s side, the top three are equally unsurprising: Marta, Cristiane and Birgit Prinz are the finalists, with two of the three already have won the award (only Cristiane is new). Prinz is an old hand at this, having been voted Player of the Year in 2003, 2004, 2005 but Marta, obviously, is going to win for the next decade, and crush her record in the dust.
Though it’s not as important as the Golden Ball, the World Player of the Year might by my favorite award, if only because it’s voted on by the captains and coaches of all the national teams under FIFA’s umbrella. And what’s really great is that, after the winner is announced, FIFA release a complete list of who voted for who, and you can dig through it to find that one guy who voted for, say, Francesco Coco. Last season, for example, the captains of Equatorial Guinea and Sri Lanka both cast third-place votes for Adriano, meaning he got more votes that you and me. That somehow seems wrong.