• Voting for The Best FIFA Player and Coach awards closes 7 September
  • We asked national team coaches and players what they look for when voting
  • Kaspars Gorkss, Carli Lloyd, Stephen Constantine and Martina Voss-Tecklenburg give their views

Who are The Best, and why?

They are almost impossible questions, with myriad answers, but we put these queries to you, the fans, as well as national team coaches and captains and selected media, when voting opened for The Best FIFA Football Awards™ last month.

These key stakeholders in football have to whittle down 56 people to 12 final candidates. But how do those directly involved with the game decide? We asked men's and women's national team coaches and captains to tell us what they look for when voting. ​Hopefully it gives you some insight when casting your vote for this year's awards. 

Haven't done it yet? Then head to the men's player, women's player, men's coach and women's coach pages to make your choice.

Kaspars Gorkss, Latvia captain
Voted for Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann and Gianluigi Buffon for The Best FIFA Men's Player 2016
Voted for Diego Simeone, Pep Guardiola and Claudio Ranieri for The Best FIFA Men's Coach 2016

For the players
It’s always a hard question to answer. For me to judge players like that is not easy. You try to be as honest as possible. Obviously, I consulted with my son especially, because for him it seems to be a lot of fun to choose between the Messis, Ronaldos and Griezmanns of the day, so my nine-year-old son was a big influence in that as well! Again, some players have the characteristics that I, myself, find likeable.

I think it’s hard to imagine that anyone is going to beat the big strikers in this race but personally I, as a defender always look at defenders as well. In Latvia, we say “somebody plays on the piano, but somebody needs to carry the piano,” and I think if there were not players like Leo Bonucci or Sergio Ramos, there would not be some of the forwards and midfielders who have the freedom to do whatever they want on the pitch.

For the coaches
Of course you look at the results. As we know football is the business of results. Then you look for some qualities that you prefer in a manager which in Simeone’s case is his passion. You can see that it was like he was playing himself for 90 minutes and he feels very passionate about every win, every tackle and you could even see him tackling on the sideline! I really like that as a player.

Stephen Constantine, India coach
Voted for Diego Simeone, Claudio Ranieri and Jurgen Klopp for The Best FIFA Men's Coach 2016
Voted for Gareth Bale, Robert Lewandowski and Luis Suarez for The Best FIFA Men's Player 2016

For the coaches
The overriding thing that kept coming back to me was the ability to maximise what you have at your disposal, all of the managers above have done exactly that in different ways. Simeone is intense and very passionate in how he goes about it, while Ranieri is calmer, not fazed by anything and able to get his point across in other ways. Klopp, for me, is a combination of the two in that he'll be explosive at times but in control and that's a gift. 

For me it's not about who's won this or that but more about the man and how he's able to manage players, staff, executives, media and fans. Of course dealing with the pressure is also a very important part of the game and I'd say all three are very good at what they do.

For the players
There are so many great players out there but one of the things I look at is the player's influence. How much would the team miss him if he was not there? And what impact did he have that year on the particular team? Of course at the top level they're all good players but the special ones are the ones that have that little something extra and in difficult times always seem to be there.

Carli Lloyd, USA captain
Voted for Lotta Schelin, Camille Abily and Saki Kumagai for The Best FIFA Women's Player 2016
Voted for Jill Ellis, Silvia Neid and Pia Sundhage for The Best FIFA Women's Coach 2016

Being captain and having the opportunity to vote for the best player in the world, sometimes I don’t look for the obvious one. For me the best player in the world encompasses many different qualities.

 

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, Switzerland coach
Voted for Carli Lloyd, Camille Abily and Melanie Behringer for The Best FIFA Women's Player 2016
Voted for Pia Sundhage, Gerard Precheur and Silvia Neid for The Best FIFA Women's Coach 2016

For the coaches
Firstly, I'd like to say that it's very difficult to reach an objective and fair decision, because many coaches do a great job. To win a title does not always mean that, in the end, a coach has worked well. You also have to see what structures they have in place.

With the coaches I look to see whether there was a development process but also what they've achieved over a longer period of time. Or on the contrary, what they've managed in a short time, take the recent example of the Netherlands. I also see what kind of presence they have on the sideline. How do they coach? What input do they give? It's an overall picture.

For the players
With the players I try to look at what they've done over a season. Although that's quite difficult with some players, who are sometimes overseas, because in women's football you see too little. This is easier in Europe. You have the Champions League, the higher profile domestic leagues; you see a lot and can get information. I not only look at a final tournament though - which is of course always a big focus - but try to incorporate what the players have done in the year for their respective club sides.