The title of FIFA World Player of the Year 1997 will go to one of four players (listed here in alphabetical order):

  • Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal / Holland)
  • Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid / Brazil)
  • Ronaldo (Inter Milan / Brazil)
  • Zinedine Zidane (Juventus / France).

Votes have been counted from 128 national team coaches and two of these four players have an equal number of points. So for the first time, there will be four players on stage when the trophies are presented at Disneyland Paris on Monday 12 January 1998.

Also presented on that occasion will be the annual awards to Brazil as the top team of the year, and to Yugoslavia as the team that has made the greatest progress in the monthly FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking.

FIFA will also present its annual Fair Play awards on the same occasion, the trophy going to the fans of the Irish Republic for their exemplary behaviour, to US international player Julie Foudy for her commitment to the fight against child labour in the football industry, and to Josef Zovinec, an amateur player from Slovakia who played 60 years without a booking or expulsion.

The FIFA World Player Awards will be combined for the first time with inductions into the new International Football Hall of Champions, presented by FIFA, with a host of stars of football history being honoured. These include Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Michel Platini, Bobby Charlton, Real Madrid, Michel Vautrot, Jules Rimet, and others.

The gala evening on 12 January will be shown live on Eurosport.