On Wednesday, FIFA published the list of candidates for the adidas Golden Ball to be awarded to the player of the tournament at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Germany 2010. The list comprises ten players who have been selected by FIFA’s Technical Study Group (TSG).
Accredited media representatives at Germany 2010 now have the chance to use the FIFA media channel to choose their three favourites from the following list:
Lady Andrade (16, COL)
Choe Un-Ju (7, PRK)
Antonia Goransson (15, SWE)
Mana Iwabuchi (10, JPN)
Ji So-Yun (10, KOR)
Kim Na-Rae (8, KOR)
Kim Kulig (19, GER)
Sydney Leroux (19, USA)
Ebere Orji (8, NGA)
Alexandra Popp (11, GER)
Players chosen first receive five points, while there are three points for second and one for third. The points will be counted by FIFA at the conclusion of the final next Sunday, with the winner being presented with the adidas Golden Ball.
At Russia 2006, China‘s Ma Xiaoxu was voted best player, having played a decisive role in her team’s strong showing at the tournament and impressed observers with her individual brillance.
Back in 2004 in Thailand, it was Brazilian star Marta, then a mere 18-year-old who won the award. Since then she has become a linchpin of the senior national team and been named FIFA Women’s World Player four times, leading most observers to consider her the finest ever proponent of the women's game.
The first FIFA Women’s U-20 tournament was held in Canada in 2002, where local favourite Christine Sinclair took the inaugural award. She has since gone on to play 138 times for Canada, making the 27-year-old her country's most-capped player.