The Best FIFA Football Awards™

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

Monday 23 September 2019, Milan

FIFA Fan Award

2019 FIFA Fan Award finalist Nickollas Grecco poses with his mother Silvia Grecco for a portrait
© Getty Images

Football is for everyone, and nobody understands this more than Silvia Grecco. Her son Nickollas is blind and has been diagnosed with mild autism. Silvia’s lifelong love for football has guided her in her methods of helping Nickollas cope with day-to-day life. Her fanatical support for Palmeiras has also been transferred to her son, who she takes to matches – where she narrates the action for him.

“I’ll describe the details of the environment, the characteristics of each player. Narrating the goal is the most exciting part, I have no doubt about that. At the stadium is complete freedom, he is transformed. He freels at ease, stands up, cheers and jumps. Nickollas becomes another child. I am the eyes of Nickollas.”

This heartwarming and inspirational mother-son relationship – strengthened through a passionate love of football – has seen Silvia Grecco win the 2019 FIFA Fan Award.

The Candidates

Justo Sanchez

Cerro fan turned Rampla supporter

Justo Sanchez’s son Nicolas was tragically killed in a road traffic accident while travelling back from watching his beloved Rampla Juniors play in Uruguay’s top flight. Justo, himself a lifelong supporter of Rampla’s closest rivals Cerro, switched allegiance to support Rampla, so that his son’s passion could live on through him. The story gained widespread coverage in Uruguay, a nation whose residents live and breathe football as if it is a religion.  

Justo now attends Rampla games, with a flag – which reads: ‘Nico, forever present’ - honouring his late son.

“My blood will be Cerro until the day I die,” Justo said. “But my heart will always be Rampla now.”

Netherlands fans

At the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™

One of the enduring images of France 2019 was undoubtedly the Oranje fans invading every city that their team conquered en route to the Final in Lyon. Huge swathes of orange stretched as far as the eye could see as the well-natured and fanatical support highlighted the nation’s passion for the women’s game.

“When I see the fans and all that orange, it gives me goosebumps. It’s something so very, very special,” said Henk, a fan who DJs on the bus that leads the impressive fan marches to the stadiums.

Despite ultimately being defeated in the Final against the USA, the Dutch fans certainly earned everybody’s respect and admiration after their remarkable display of support during the tournament.

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