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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ballon d'Or and ........... FIFA World Player of the Year - Identify !!

Can you identify this woman standing next to Ronaldo ?

                                   The 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala was the fifth year for FIFA's awards for the top football players and coaches of the year. The awards were given out in Zürich on 12 January 2015. Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo won the FIFA Ballon d'Or as the World Player of the Year for a second consecutive time, having won it previously last year.  Joachim Löw received the World Coach of the Year for Men's Football.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Real Madrid and is the captain for the Portugal national team. By the age of 22, Ronaldo had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year, in 2008, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He followed this up by winning the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2013 and 2014. He also won the 2013–14 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. In January 2014, Ronaldo scored his 400th senior career goal for club and country aged 28.

The FIFA Ballon d'Or ("Golden Ball") is an annual association football award given by FIFA to the male player considered to have performed the best in the previous calendar year. It is awarded based on the votes from national team coaches and captains, as well as journalists from around the world.  The award started in 2010 after France Football's Ballon d'Or and the men's FIFA World Player of the Year award were merged. The winner of the inaugural 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or was Lionel Messi who then went on to reclaim the title the following two years. After the merger, the FIFA World Player of the Year award became a women-only award.

Nadine Keßler (in the photo) is a German footballer. She currently plays for VfL Wolfsburg and the German national team. Keßler was the recipient of the FIFA World Player of the Year award at the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or.  Nadine Kessler made her debut for the Germany women's national football team at Algarve Cup in Feb 2010 against Finland.  Wolfsburg captain Nadine Kessler collected the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year award. The 26-year-old collected 17.52 per cent of the vote and finished ahead of five-time winner Marta and USA striker Abby Wambach at a ceremony in Zurich. Kessler's coach at Wolfsburg Ralf Kellermann picked up the FIFA Women's World Coach of the Year award. Both said their awards had been overshadowed by the death of Wolfsburg midfielder Junior Malanda in a car crash on Saturday.

The FIFA World Player of the Year is an association football award presented to the female player voted as best in the world by coaches and captains of international teams.  From 2010, it is  the equivalent to men's award - FIFA Ballon d'Or.  So far, only seven female players – three Germans, two Americans, one Brazilian, and one Japanese – have won the award. Marta has won it five times in a row.  The oldest winner is Nadine Angerer, who was 35 when she won in 2013; she is also the only goalkeeper to win either the women's or men's award. The youngest winner is Marta, who won in 2006 at age 20.

As fans would remember, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima commonly known as Ronaldo, is a retired Brazilian footballer. Popularly dubbed "the phenomenon", he is considered by experts and fans to be one of the greatest football players of all time.  He is one of only four men to have won the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times or more, along with Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Jan 2015.

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