A shortlist of ten candidates for the FIFA's Women's Coach of the Year, compiled by experts from FIFA's Committee for Women's Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ and a group of experts from France Football was revealed on Friday, 25 October.
A shortlist of three coaches from this will be revealed later on. Journalists, national coaches and captains will now vote for the winner of FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year from this list.
A list of ten male candidates for the FIFA Coach of the Year award will be revealed on 29 October. These will be drawn up by the Committee for Women’s Football and FIFA Women’s World Cup and by the FIFA Football Committee, as well as by a group of experts from France Football.
The voting process will follow that of their counterparts in the women's game, after a shortlist of three will also be revealed at a later stage.
Carlo Ancelotti has held some of the most pressurised coaching jobs in European football, with stints at the likes of Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain before his current posting at Real Madrid. He has also had to manage some of the most forthright characters in the game, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gennaro Gattuso, John Terry and Cristiano Ronaldo, but the former Italian international has never lost his calm and composure when striving to get his star players to shine. He demonstrated that most recently by taking a PSG squad brimming with big names to the 2012/13 French crown, before taking the reins at Madrid in the summer and plotting another championship success in 2013/14.
Though some sections of the Chelsea support never took to him, Rafael Benitez guided the Londoners to the UEFA Europa League title and third place in the English Premier League in 2013, guaranteeing them a berth in this season’s Champions League. After leaving Chelsea for Napoli in May, the Spanish coach presided over the Italian club’s joint second-best start to the season, as they strung together four consecutive wins. The last of those victories came away to AC Milan at the San Siro, where they had not won in 27 years.
It is often said that a team resembles its coach, and that has certainly been the case at Juventus since Antonio Conte took over in 2011 following a period learning his trade in the lower divisions. A born winner who was always comfortable on the ball during his days playing for Juve and Italy, the former midfielder has managed to build a side in his own image, putting equal emphasis on combativeness and attractive football. Those qualities lay at the root of Conte's successes in 2013, La Vecchia Signora sealing their second Serie A title and Italian Super Cup in two years.
After being named FIFA Men’s Football Coach of the Year in 2012, Vicente del Bosque continued his good work with La Roja, even if things did not quite go according to plan at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013. Following a spellbinding performance in their opening game against Uruguay, Spain fell to an emphatic defeat to the tournament hosts in the final. Del Bosque responded to the setback by demanding more from his team, and they responded, beating France to top spot in the smallest group in the European qualifying competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, where they will defend their world title.
Sir Alex Ferguson ensured that he went out on a high after 26 trophy-laden years at Manchester United by winning the Premier League title, finishing 11-points clear of rivals Manchester City. The Scot’s 13th championship success proved to be one of his sweetest. It ensured that pride was returned to Old Trafford after they had lost out to the Citizens in dramatic circumstances the previous season. Ferguson’s “noisy neighbours” had been silenced. On 8 May 2013, just 16 days after winning the league yet again, Ferguson announced that he was to retire as manager at the end of the 2012/13 campaign, but would remain at the club as a director and ambassador. Ferguson won 49 trophies as a manager, making him the most successful British football manager in history.
Things did not go according to plan for the Portuguese coach in the first half of 2013, as Real Madrid lost out to Barcelona in the league and Atletico Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey. Deciding to leave the Spanish capital for London in the summer, Mourinho received the warmest of welcomes back at Chelsea, whose fans have never forgotten that it was the “Special One” who guided the club back to the top again with consecutive titles in 2005 and 2006, their first championship triumphs in over half a century. With the Stamford Bridge faithful firmly behind him, the Portuguese is back in the thick of it as he aims for more Premier League and UEFA Champions League glory.
A world champion at Korea/Japan 2002, Luiz Felipe Scolari is the man Brazil have turned to in their hour of need. Concerned by A Seleçao’s inconsistent form with only 18 months to go before the FIFA World Cup™, the country’s footballing chiefs decided to change coach, entrusting Felipão with the task of getting the national side back on track. Known for his ability to get teams playing as a unit, Scolari has overseen a dramatic turnaround in Brazil’s fortunes, fashioning a versatile and highly effective side that rediscovered its swagger at the FIFA Confederations Cup, where they swept to a 3-0 defeat of Spain in the final and regained their place in the hearts of the fans.
A firm believer in attacking football based on fluid team play, Arsene Wenger is a man who remains faithful to his ideas even under the sternest of pressure. Criticised during the 2012/13 campaign and at the start of the current season due to adverse results and a perceived lack of ambition – including by some Arsenal fans – the Frenchman responded by leading the club back into the UEFA Champions League and overseeing an excellent set of performances domestically and in Europe. As so often in recent years, Wenger watched his rivals spend huge sums during the summer while placing his own trust in a young and exciting team capable of challenging for honours. The difference this season was that he also showed a willingness to invest heavily in order to lure star names. Mesut Ozil's arrival at the Emirates could make all the difference as Wenger looks to reacquaint himself with trophy success.