The secret is out. The nominees for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach of 2016 and The Best FIFA Women’s Player of 2016 awards have been announced, with six Germans among the contenders for the two accolades: coaches Silvia Neid, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg and Thomas Worle, and players Melanie Behringer, Sara Daebritz and Dzsenifer Marozsan.
“I found out a day after the list of candidates was published, and I was pretty surprised,” Bayern Munich women’s team boss Worle told FIFA.com. Along with Gerard Precheur, his opposite number at Olympique Lyon, Worle is the only club coach up for the award, the rest all being national team bosses. “I didn’t expect it. In fact, it had never even entered my mind. It’s a great honour for me, my coaching staff and the team. This nomination is reward for everyone who has given their support to women’s football at Bayern Munich.”
Switzerland’s German coach Voss-Tecklenburg was another who did not expect to see her name on the list, despite having had a very successful year with her team. “The fact is I hadn’t even thought about it and it’s taken me by surprise a little. Obviously, I’m very pleased,” she said. “I hadn’t even thought about it until the list came out. It honestly hadn’t crossed my mind. All the same, it shows that we’ve done a good job and that we’re making progress. The fact that we’ve qualified for a major competition for a second time and without having lost a game has not gone unnoticed. It goes without saying that I’m proud of the work we’ve put in and of the team.”
A good job well done
After guiding her side to gold at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016, former Germany coach Neid announced her retirement at the age of 52, with Steffi Jones taking over from her. “The Olympic title was the perfect way to end my career and being on the list for the FIFA Woman’s Coach award is the icing on the cake,” said the much-honoured Neid. “It’s always been a very special award and it serves as recognition for the work we did throughout the year. The fact that three of the nominees for the best player award play from the national team is also a huge success for us. The three of them have all done brilliantly and they deserve it. That said, I see it as overall recognition for the team’s superb level of performance, which saw us kick on and win Olympic gold.”
Worle was in full agreement with those words, not least because two of the three Germany internationals in contention for the FIFA Women’s Player award run out for his Bayern side. “Melanie Behringer has been consistently excellent for many seasons now and she’s been outstanding in the last two years in particular, for both her club and her country. As for Sara Daebritz, I think she’s one of the biggest talents in the world. She’s only 21 and she’s got an extremely bright future ahead of her. She’s shown on the national and international stage that she has a huge amount of potential. I’m convinced this nomination will be huge source of motivation for her and will push her to keep on working hard and to take the next step forward in her career.”
The Bayern duo are both delighted to be among the nominees, with Behringer commenting: “To be one of the ten best is a real honour for me. Regardless of who goes on to win the award, I think it’s a real achievement to be nominated and it makes me feel very proud.” Meanwhile, Daebritz had this to say: “I’m surprised, but I also feel really really proud and happy to be among the nominees, which is a very special reward in itself.” Germany team-mate Dzsenifer Marozsan was also delighted to be in the running for the award. “To be among the nominees alongside such outstanding players is very special for me. The fact that I’ve been nominated with two other national team players in Melanie Behringer and Sara Daebritz makes me feel even happier, and it’s also an achievement for the team as a whole.”
Fans to have their say
For the first time, the supporters will have a say in who wins the awards, a development that has gone down well with Voss-Tecklenburg. “I think it’s great,” said the Duisburg-born coach. “I think the fans have got a good eye for these things, and the people who follow women’s football know a lot about it. That’s why I feel it’s a good idea that the fans, who watch a lot of games and follow football very closely, should also have the chance to vote. I’m pleased about it.”
Have you voted for your favourites yet?
The clock is ticking and there’s no time to lose! Cast your vote here: