FIFA has announced the names of the top three players in this year?s vote for the FIFA World Player of the Year Award. They are - in alphabetical order - Luis Figo (Real Madrid and Portugal), Rivaldo (Barcelona and Brazil) and Zinedine Zidane (Juventus and France).
The final placings of this top trio will be announced at the annual FIFA World Player gala, held this year in Rome on Monday 11 December.
Rivaldo won the award last year and Zidane was the winner in 1998, but it is the first time that Figo has been nominated in the top three. The World Player is voted by the world?s national team coaches, of whom over 130 took part in this year?s ballot.
Also to be announced in Rome on 11 December will be the male and female Footballers of the Century, as selected by the voting public and the Club of the Century as selected by the readers of FIFA Magazine. Details of the winners of this vote will be announced shortly.
The World Player gala will also feature a number of other presentations, including that of the FIFA Fair Play Award for 2000. This has been attributed to the captain of South Africa, Lucas Radebe, of Leeds United, for his work with children in his home country and also for his commitment to the fight against racism in football.
The Team of the Year Award, based upon the monthly FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking, goes to the Netherlands, with Nigeria winning the award for the team that has made the most progress up the Ranking table.
The FIFA gala evening in Rome will be organised in co-operation with the ESM group of sports magazines, including the Gazzetta dello Sport, adidas and the Italian broadcaster RAI.
Note to Editors : Media wishing to be accredited to the FIFA gala may apply through the FIFA Communications Division. However, space is limited and requests can no longer be guaranteed satisfaction.