By Tariq Lorgat
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 9 of VARSITY.
Two weeks ago the most anticipated awards ceremony in football took place: The Best, presented by FIFA. This event is to acknowledge the great achievements by all those within the world of football.
We all know of the standard awards – with Luka Modric beating out Cristiano Ronaldo for best men’s player, Tibaut Courtois taking the best goalkeeper and Didier Deschamps taking best men’s coach after leading France to the World Cup in Russia earlier this year. But what are some of the awards that went under the radar?
Best women’s player: Marta Vieira da Silva
The award for the best woman’s player went to one of the best female footballers to have ever played the game. Marta has been nominated for this award 14 times before and has finished in the top three a staggering 12 times. This win marks her sixth time lifting this prize which is simply extraordinary.
She takes home the award this year after a truly great season from club and country, winning the Copa America with the Brazil national team, where she is the captain and staking a great run in the USA National Woman’s Soccer League.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) September 24, 2018
Best women’s coach: Reynald Pedros
The award for the best women’s coach went to the Olympique Lyonnais (OL) coach Reynald Pedros. He only took over at OL this season and had the huge task of replicating their winning season of the previous year. He may have fallen short, but he certainly made it a great season with his team winning the Division 1 Feminine title undefeated (only dropping points in one draw), and then winning the UEFA Woman’s Champions League to take their title tally to two for the season. This isn’t bad for someone who only started in women’s football last season.
Best Fans: Peru
This is one of the most fun awards of the night and the one viewers look forward to the most. In all the grandeur placed on footballers, this award really emphasises the importance of the supporters and their role in the victories on the pitch. This year, there could not have been a more deserving set of fans than the Peruvian supporters. After a 36-year hiatus from the World Cup they finally qualified this year in Russia and their fans really showed how much their absence had been felt. They came in their droves and filled every stadium their team played in. No matter the score on the pitch, the volume from these fans was always the same and they always backed the players. They truly were The Best fans this year.