Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane join Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and others on shortlist for FIFA awards

Jim van Wijk 24/07/2018
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Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane are among football's best for the FIFA awards.

England boss Gareth Southgate has been named on the shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach 2018 award, while captain Harry Kane joins Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the battle for the player trophy.

The period covered July 3, 2017 to July 15 this year and the 10 nominees were selected by a panel of football experts.

Fans from around the world will now also be able to cast their vote until August 10, with the winners of all the categories announced at FIFA’s official awards ceremony in London on September 24.

Southgate’s side qualified for the 2018 World Cup with an unbeaten record before going on to reach the semi-finals, eventually finishing fourth in Russia.

Tottenham forward Kane won the Golden Boot with his six goals as England produced their best World Cup finish since 1990, coming on the back of the 30 he scored during the Premier League season.

Other Premier League players to be included are Belgium duo Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, of Manchester City and Chelsea, and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who enjoyed a superb club campaign as the Reds reached the Champions League final.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp join Southgate on the shortlist for the coach award.

Spaniard Guardiola masterminded City’s dominant Premier League campaign, while German Klopp won many plaudits for the approach of his side on their European run, which ended with defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev.

World Cup winner Didier Deschamps of France also makes the 10-man coach shortlist, along with Croatia’s Zlatko Dalic, whose side knocked England out before finishing runners-up in Russia.

Ronaldo collected the 2017 FIFA player accolade ahead of Messi, who went on to help Barcelona to a domestic double last season.

Neymar was third in the 2017 voting, but the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward, the world’s most expensive player, does not make the shortlist this year.

Portugal international Ronaldo scored 15 goals as Real won the Champions League for a third successive campaign and, following the World Cup, he joined Juventus in an unexpected £99million move.

France’s victorious World Cup team is well represented for the individual player award, with forwards Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann and defender Raphael Varane all included, as is Croatia captain Luka Modric, who won the Golden Ball for the best player at the World Cup.

The nominees for coach award also include Massimiliano Allegri, who led Juventus to a record seventh successive Serie A title, Russian coach Stanislav Cherchesov, whose team enjoyed an unexpected run to the quarter-finals as World Cup hosts, and Belgium’s Roberto Martinez, whose team finished third.

Completing the shortlist are Diego Simeone of Atletico Madrid, Barcelona’s double winner Ernesto Valverde and Zinedine Zidane, who stepped down after taking Real to a third successive Champions League title.

The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2018 nominations include England’s Lucy Bronze, who won a league and European double during her maiden season in France with Lyon.

English coaches Emma Hayes and Mark Parsons have both been named on the shortlist for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2018 award.

Chelsea Ladies boss Hayes led the Blues to the Women’s Super League and FA Cup double last season, while Parsons guided Portland Thorns to the National Women’s Soccer League championship in the United States.

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Clear Arabia’s World Cup Champion Moments countdown 1

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World Cup winner: Paul Pogba with the biggest prize of all

Brought to you by Clear Arabia

France capped off a month of football fever as they defeated Croatia 4-2 to be crowned World Cup winners for the second time in the country’s history. The four weeks in Russia produced one of the best tournaments the game’s ever seen, with the introduction of VAR, a record number of penalties and huge upsets including Germany finishing bottom of group F. Didier Deschamps became only the third person ever to lift the World Cup as both a player and manager (joining Mario Zagallo, Franz Beckenbauer) as his France side brushed aside Croatia in a thrilling finale.

1. A Champion Performance in the biggest game of all from Paul Pogba.

Paul Pogba the Manchester United enigma, is now Paul Pogba a World Cup winner.

How can a player struggle so badly throughout the last season to exert his dominance at one of the biggest clubs in the world, yet saunter to success with one of the biggest nations at the World Cup two months later?

His sublime talent has now been showcased on the global stage twice, here in Russia where he was one of the top performing midfielders overall, following on from his breakout tournament four years ago in Brazil where he took home the Best Young Player accolade.

He clearly has the taste for the spotlight – evidenced further by his outlandish hairstyles, celebratory dance routines and the ease with which he handles the glare of the public eye.

Yet, this belies his struggles on the domestic front as he strives to live up to the weighty £89 million price tag which was placed around his neck when Manchester United brought him back “home” from Juventus two summers ago.

Compatriot Kylian Mbappe usurped Pogba of his young player crown following France’s epic 4-2 triumph over Croatia on Sunday, while the teenage terror and Antoine Griezmann each netted four times over the course of the tournament.

N’Golo Kante mercilessly and tirelessly chased, harried and tackled opponents. Raphael Varane was a calm and commanding presence at the back, looking like the top-tier defender we’ve seen him struggle to aspire to be at Real Madrid.

However, Pogba outshone them all. His nine key passes were second highest for Les Bleus while only two players passed more (N’Golo Kante and Raphael Varane). Set up to catch and counter, Pogba’s 35 accurate long balls were the most from France’s midfield and an important characteristic of their play and added to that was his 22 tackles which was third most for his side.

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Clear Arabia’s World Cup Champion Moments countdown 2

David Cooper 22/07/2018
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Key man: Kevin De Bruyne

Brought to you by Clear Arabia

France capped off a month of football fever as they defeated Croatia 4-2 to be crowned World Cup winners for the second time in the country’s history. The four weeks in Russia produced one of the best tournaments the game’s ever seen, with the introduction of VAR, a record number of penalties and huge upsets including Germany finishing bottom of group F. Didier Deschamps became only the third person ever to lift the World Cup as both a player and manager (joining Mario Zagallo, Franz Beckenbauer) as his France side brushed aside Croatia in a thrilling finale.

Here’s number 2 on the Clear Arabia Champion Moment countdown

  1. A Championship Performance from Kevin De Bruyne to help Belgium beat England in the third-place play-off

Belgium beat England for the second time at the 2018 World Cup as the Red Devils rubber-stamped third place with a comfortable 2-0 win over the Three Lions to earn their best ever tournament finish.

In a game that has courted controversy for the value it holds, Belgium raced out of the traps to score their quickest ever World Cup goal – the returning Thomas Meunier prodding in Nacer Chadli’s fine cross following a rapid counter-attack after just three minutes and 37 seconds.

England came alive in the second half but Toby Alderweireld cleared off the line from Eric Dier. And Eden Hazard, who had been a thorn in the Three Lions’ paw all day, sealed the win late on following another flowing move. But it was Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne who stole the show with a superb attacking performance, which will haunt England’s Phil Jones for years to come.

See the number one Clear Arabia Champion Moment HERE

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