The inaugural FIFA Player of the Year award went to German midfielder Lothar Matthaus, with Jean-Pierre Papin and Gary Lineker second and third in the standings.
Matthaus was the winner of the first official election of the award, organised by FIFA, adidas and the association of European Sport Magazines (ESM). The national coaches of all FIFA's member associations were all asked to make their choice.
Around a third of all the judges who took part in the election chose Matthaus. The result of the election of the world footballer of the year was announced at the group draw for the FIFA World Cup in New York.
The architect of Germany's FIFA World Cup™ win in Italy in 1990, the midfield general and captain of Inter Milan was renowned as a never-say-die competitor and leader in the truest sense. "I never was the most talented player," Matthaus has previously said. "But I always knew how to get the job done."
With a record 25 appearances in five FIFA World Cups, 150 German caps, six German championships with Bayern Munich, five German cup winner's medals, two UEFA Cup titles and a FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO title to his name, his ability to get the job done is not really up for debate.