Ellis, Neid and Sundhage make final three
The three nominees for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach Award have been revealed, with a trio of seasoned award- and trophy-winners completing a heavyweight final shortlist. USA coach Jill Ellis, former Germany coach Silvia Neid and Sweden’s Pia Sundhage remain in the running to be crowned The Best in Zurich on Monday 9 January.
Ellis, who took home the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football Award in 2015 after steering the Stars and Stripes to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ title, guided her side through a successful 2016, albeit without claiming a medal at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016. USA’s 25 games across the year saw 22 victories and three draws (including a penalty shootout defeat to Sweden in Brazil), with a staggering 110 goals scored – an average of more than four per game.
Former Germany coachNeid,herself a Women’s World Cup winner in 2007 and two-time World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football, added Olympic gold to her already impressive trophy cabinet. The German finished her 11-year stint with DFB-Frauen on the highest of highs, seeing off Sweden in the Maracana before retiring from coaching.
The Germans defeated Sundhage’s Sweden who, against all odds, saw off USA – who the Swede had previously coached - in that quarter-final shootout before defeating the Rio 2016 hosts Brazil in a semi-final spot-kick shootout to guarantee a historic first Olympic medal for her country in women’s football. On a personal note for the Swede, the World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football in 2012 became the first coach to reach three consecutive Women’s Olympic Football Tournament finals.
The winner, decided in equal measure by votes from captains and coaches of national teams, select members of the media and fans voting on FIFA.com, will be presented with the award at the ceremony in Zurich on Monday 9 January. Make sure to check back on FIFA.com and on social media - @FIFAcomand @FIFAWWC using#TheBest, on Instagram and the official FIFA Football Awards Facebook page– to see who is The Best Women’s Coach.