Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the best player in the world for the third time following previous wins in 2008 and 2013, while Germany midfielder Nadine Kessler has claimed her first-ever FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award. Germany coach Joachim Low and compatriot Ralf Kellermann, coach of Wolfsburg Ladies, have been named 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 national teams as well as by international media representatives invited by FIFA and France Football.
International players’ union FIFPro also invited 24,000 professional players from around the world to vote for the FIFA FIFPro World XI, the best team of 2014, with the following result: Manuel Neuer (Germany) in goal; David Luiz (Brazil), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Sergio Ramos (Spain) and Thiago Silva (Brazil) in defence; Ángel Di María (Argentina), Andrés Iniesta (Spain) and Toni Kroos (Germany) in midfield; and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Arjen Robben (Netherlands) in attack.
During the show, other people were also commended for their services to football on or off the pitch. Journalist Hiroshi Kagawa, 90, was presented with the FIFA Presidential Award by President Blatter. The Japanese from Kobe was honoured for his tireless work for football in Japan, which has continued to grow in popularity in his homeland thanks to his articles and incredible passion for the game. He was the oldest media representative on duty at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which was also his tenth World Cup.
The FIFA Fair Play Award was presented to all volunteers who have worked at FIFA competitions, because without their work, their tireless support, their enthusiasm and their passion for the game, it would be virtually impossible for FIFA to organise its many tournaments year in, year out.