FIFA and Hyundai announced today the introduction of the award for the best young player at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. The Hyundai Best Young Player Award will recognise the outstanding achievements and courage of young players in next year’s tournament.
It is a prize that is especially important to FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke: “This special FIFA award focuses on the future. To shine as the best young player on the pitch alongside the world’s elite takes skill, creativity and strength but also an individual and refreshing style of play. Thanks to the support of Hyundai, this honour continues to be an important part of the FIFA World Cup and a much-coveted accolade for all the promising youngsters in the tournament to vie for.”
The FIFA World Cup is known as the creative hotbed for football superstars. The youngest player to win the FIFA World Cup was Pelé at the age of 17 in Sweden in 1958. He scored in the final and would without doubt have won the Hyundai Best Young Player Award had the prize existed at the time.
As world football’s governing body, FIFA is committed to improving the standard of world tournaments and to promoting football among young people. With this in mind, the Hyundai Best Young Player Award will reward the outstanding performances of young players in the world’s most recognised football event. This prize is a valuable promotional tool for football around the globe and marks an important moment for the young players presented with the award.
The winner of the award will be selected by the Technical Study Group (TSG), a FIFA-appointed group of top football coaches and analysts headed by Jean-Paul Brigger, a former Swiss international. Selection criteria are age, exceptional skills, a youthful and refreshing playing style, creativity and inspiration, tactical maturity and efficiency. But a player needs more than this to be selected as the best young player of the tournament, says Jean-Paul Brigger: “To recognise the best young player we are also looking for someone who is entertaining with his play and is a role model for other young players. Most important for us is also a positive attitude and fair play throughout the whole tournament.”
On FIFA.com fans will find an interactive Hyundai Best Young Player Award section where they can give their prediction and leave comments on “Have your say”. There will also be pictures and stories on each player shortlisted for the award. The section will be launched together with the media launch of the award on 2 December before the Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Cape Town.