The Best FIFA Football Awards™

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

Thursday 17 December 2020

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

Passion honoured by the FIFA Fan Award

Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund fans.
© imago images
  • FIFA Fan Award introduced in 2016
  • Looking back at the previous four winners
  • Voting for the 2020 awards begins tomorrow

The FIFA Fan Award was created in 2016 at the same time as The Best awards were introduced, and it has certainly proved to be a hit. With voting for the 2020 edition set to begin tomorrow, we look at the supporters who've picked up this illustrious honour thus far.

2016: Fans of Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool

The inaugural FIFA Fan Award was handed out four years ago to the fans of German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and English Premier League side Liverpool for their unforgettable rendition of a now legendary football song. You’ll Never Walk Alone was picked up by the Reds at the beginning of the 1960s as their unofficial anthem, and since then it has gone beyond national and indeed language borders to achieve fame around the world.

German club Borussia Dortmund also adopted the song, and when the two teams met in the UEFA Europa League in April 2016, fans on all sides of the ground sang the song as a gesture of solidarity on the eve of the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

"Since the Fan Award, the connection between the fans and officials at the two clubs has become even stronger."

Torsten Schild, president of the BVB fan club

2017: Celtic fans

In 2017, football fans from around the world chose the Bhoys’ fantastic tifo display that marked the 50th anniversary of the Lisbon Lions' European Cup triumph for that year’s FIFA Fan Award. There were events to mark the Glasgow club’s 1967 victory all around the world, from London to Las Vegas, and at every Celtic home game that year, the crowd would sing in the 67th minute and light up their mobile phones.

On 21 May, four days before the anniversary, a fan tifo display filled Celtic Park, securing both the FIFA Fan Award and the eternal gratitude of the Lisbon Lions themselves.

“I’m extremely grateful to them, as I know all the guys are, not only for that display but for everything that’s been done for the Lions this year - and ever since '67. The Celtic fans are a special bunch, and we count ourselves very lucky that they’ve kept us so close to their hearts.”

Jim Craig, Lisbon Lion

2018: Peru supporters

2018 was all about the FIFA World Cup™ in Russia, and for the first time since 1982, Peru had made it to the finals. 40,000 of their fans travelled from South America to cheer on the Blanquirroja, and Russia was filled with Peru jerseys, red-and-white flags, scarves and other accessories as well as Inca accoutrements.

"It was such a stressful trip but I wouldn’t have missed this match for the world. We’d been waiting for it for so long. I’ve been waiting for so long to finally get to sing our songs again in another country."

Manuelito, an 80-year-old Peru fan who took three flights and a 10-hour train ride to watch the team's opening match

2019: Silvia Grecco

The first three FIFA Fan Awards went to large groups of supporters, but Brazil’s Silvia Grecco showed in 2019 that honouring individuals was just as important.

The Palmeiras fan describes every single action of every match of their favourite club to her blind and autistic son Nickollas. She talks him through what the Green-and-Whites are doing out on the pitch, describes the atmosphere in the stadium, how the players are performing on the day and even when they have had a new haircut or changed the colour of their boots. Emotions run high when goals are scored, particular when a Palmeiras player has found the back of the net.

"Ever since FIFA showed our story as part of the Sheroes video series, our life has totally changed. People from all around the world now know who Nickollas is. And it makes you realise that sport can make it possible to change the lives of people living with disabilities." – Silvia Grecco

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