- Campbell, Kanu, Schmeichel and Smith in attendance, as The Best finalists revealed
- Four FIFA Legends gave their reaction after the announcements in London
- Winners of all awards will be revealed at the Royal Festival Hall on 24 September
The eyes of the football world turned to London, as the finalists for a number of The Best FIFA Football Awards were revealed in the United Kingdom’s capital. Three weeks before the winners will be unveiled at the Royal Festival Hall in London, four FIFA Legends were on hand to give their take on the star-studded list of elite names, who remain in the hunt for planet football’s most-coveted individual prizes.
FIFA.com was there to speak to Sol Campbell, Nwankwo Kanu, Peter Schmeichel and Kelly Smith after the announcements to get their take on The Best finalists.
I think [Modric] is not a recognised scorer, but he’s scored some vital goals, penalty kicks and from free play as well. For me, overall performances have caught the eye. I think fans and coaches, captains and managers, they’ve started to see football, broaden their horizons and open up the spectrum of looking at players and seeing who is fundamentally making this team tick. How are they contributing, and what are they contributing? Yes, we can all see people score goals, we can see people save the vital penalties, but now we’re looking in more detail. I think that’s healthy.
I think for years and years, it’s been only Messi and Ronaldo, but to see other people being part of it, Salah and Modric, it shows that things are changing. Who knows if it’s going to keep going that way? It could be difficult for them to come back. They are good players, they don’t give up. It’s for the other players to show that the times of Messi and Ronaldo have to stop.
I’m very very proud. [Kasper] has worked so hard all his life, and I think in many ways, it feels like it was always supposed to be a little bit more difficult for him. To be nominated as one of the three best goalkeepers in the world, it’s fantastic for him, but as a dad, I’m so proud. He did really well in Russia. It’s events like that where you find out about players, you find out about how good they are. The pressure of playing in a World Cup is incredible.
Key to Marta’s longevity are a hunger and desire to keep proving people wrong. When you get to a later part of your career, people start writing you off and you hear it. She has the hunger to keep going and performing at that highest level. She’s playing in one of the top leagues in America, a very physical league and she has been at the forefront of the game for a number of years. She’s got such great technique and skill and vision. You’re never going to lose that. You lose the pace when you get a little bit older, but she is one of the best and has been for a number of years.