Abby Wambach was the lone American named today when FIFA announced the 10 finalists for the 2014 Ballon d’Or for the 2014 Women’s World Player of the Year. German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer heads the list, and the 2013 winner is joined by a diverse group of women representing a total of seven countries.
Angerer is joined by countrywoman Nadine Kessler, making German one of three countries with two players among the 10 nominees. Sweden, with Nilla Fischer and Lotta Schelin and Japan, represented by Nahomi Kawasumi and Aya Miyama, are the other nations with multiple finalists.
One name surprisingly missing is Seattle Reign’s NWSL player of the year Kim Little. The Scottish international took the league by storm and had an outstanding year for her country. She should definitely feel disappointed not to have made the final 10.
Rounding out the list of 10 finalists are Brazilian superstar Marta, the five time Women’s World Player of the Year, Wambach the 2012 winner, France’s Louisa Nacib, and Veronica Boquette, of Spain. Here is the complete list.
Nadine Angerer (Germany), Veronica Boquete (Spain), Nilla Fischer (Sweden), Nahomi Kawasumi (Japan), Nadine Kessler (Germany), Marta (Brazil), Aya Miyama (Japan), Louisa Necib (France), Lotta Schelin (Sweden), Abby Wambach (USA).
Also released today by FIFA are the 10 nominees for the top coaches in the world of women’s soccer. Fans of the U.S. WNT will note that former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage has been nominated for her work with her native Sweden. Sundhage will be looking to add to the 2012 Women’s Coach of the Year Award that she earned for leading the U.S. to that Olympic triumph in 2012. Below is the complete list.
Philippe Bergeroo (France/France national team), Peter Dedevbo (Nigeria/Nigeria U-20 national team), Laura Harvey (England/Seattle Reign FC), Ralf Kellermann (Germany/VfL Wolfsburg), Maren Meinert (Germany/Germany U-20 national team), Norio Sasaki (Japan/Japan national team), Pia Sundhage (Sweden/Sweden national team), Asako Takemoto Takakura (Japan/Japan U-17 national team), Jorge Vilda (Spain/Spain U-17 national team and U-19 national team), Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (Germany/Switzerland national team).
FIFA and France Football will name three finalists from both of these categories on December 1. The top 10 finishers for the men’s honors will be released on October 28th.
The winners will be presented at the annual Ballon D’Or gala in Zurich on January 12. That same night FIFA will also select its World PRO XI, the Puskas Award for the “most beautiful” goal of the year, the FIFA Presidential award, and the FIFA Fair Play award.