Canada captain Christine Sinclair, goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe and coach Bev Priestman are up for The Best FIFA Football Awards.
Sinclair, who led the Canadian women to Olympic gold in Tokyo, is one of 13 finalists for The Best FIFA Women's Player while Labbe is one of five nominees for The Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper. Priestman, in her first full year at the helm of the Canadian team, is one of five finalists for The Best FIFA Women's Coach.
"These acknowledgments don’t happen without an unbelievable team behind us," Priestman said via social media.
"These nominations truly represent an entire team effort," Sinclair echoed in a Twitter post.
The shortlists were selected by separate men's and women's soccer panels. The men's panel included former Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen and goalkeeper Julio Cesar, among others.
Winners will be announced at an online ceremony Jan. 17. They will be decided by an international jury comprising national team coaches and captains around the globe, one specialist journalist from each territory represented by a national team, and fans via an online poll on FIFA.com.
Sinclair, who also captains the NWSL Portland Thorns, is also up for the Ballon d'Or, presented by France Football to the world's top soccer player, along with fellow Canadians Ashley Lawrence (Paris Saint-Germain) and Jessie Fleming (Chelsea).
FIFA calls Sinclair the "most successful Canadian player of all time," saying she reinforced "her legendary status" by leading Canada to Olympic gold in August.
Priestman "masterminded" Canada's Olympic run while Labbe made "crucial penalty saves" in shootout wins over Brazil in the quarterfinals and Sweden in the gold medal game, FIFA noted.
FIFA Award Finalists (with country and team affiliation)
The Best FIFA Women’s Player
Stina Blackstenius, Sweden, BK Hacken; Aitana Bonmati, Spain, FC Barcelona; Lucy Bronze, England, Manchester City WFC; Magdalena Eriksson, Sweden, Chelsea FC Women; Caroline Graham Hansen, Norway, FC Barcelona); Pernille Harder, Denmark, Chelsea FC Women; Jennifer Hermoso, Spain, FC Barcelona; Ji Soyun, South Korea Republic, Chelsea FC Women; Sam Kerr, Australia, Chelsea FC Women; Vivianne Miedema, the Netherlands, Arsenal WFC; Alexia Putellas, Spain, FC Barcelona; Christine Sinclair, Canada, Portland Thorns FC; Ellen White, England, Manchester City WFC.
The Best FIFA Men’s Player:
Karim Benzema, France, Real Madrid; Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium, Manchester City; Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Juventus/Manchester United; Erling Haaland, Norway, BV Borussia 09 Dortmund; Jorginho, Italy, Chelsea FC; N’Golo Kante, France, Chelsea FC; Robert Lewandowski, Poland, Bayern Munich; Kylian Mbappe, France, Paris Saint-Germain; Lionel Messi, Argentina, FC Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain; Neymar, Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain; Mohamed Salah, Egypt, Liverpool.
The Best FIFA Women’s Coach
Lluis Cortes, Spain, FC Barcelona; Peter Gerhardsson, Sweden, Swedish national team; Emma Hayes, England, Chelsea FC Women; Bev Priestman, England, Canadian national team; Sarina Wiegman, the Netherlands, Dutch national team English national team).
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach
Antonio Conte, Italy, FC Internazionale Milano/Tottenham Hotspur FC; Hansi Flick, Germany, Bayern Munich/German national team; Pep Guardiola, Spain, Manchester City; Roberto Mancini, Italy, Italian national team; Lionel Sebastian Scaloni, Argentina, Argentinian national team; Diego Simeone, Argentina, Atletico de Madrid; Thomas Tuchel, Germany, Chelsea FC.
The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper
Ann-Katrin Berger, Germany, Chelsea FC Women; Christiane Endler, Chile, Paris Saint-Germain/Olympique Lyonnais; Stephanie Labbe, Canada, FC Rosengard/Paris Saint-Germain; Hedvig Lindahl, Sweden, Atletico de Madrid Femenino; Alyssa Naeher, U.S, Chicago Red Stars.
The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper
Alisson Becker, Brazil, Liverpool; Gianluigi Donnarumma, Italy, AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain; Edouard Mendy, Senegal, Chelsea FC; Manuel Neuer, Germany, Bayern Munich; Kasper Schmeichel, Denmark, Leicester City.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2021