FIFA World Player of the Year-2010
award given annually to the male and female player who are thought to be the best in the world, based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams. In a voting system based on positional voting, each coach gets three votes, worth five points, three points and one point, and the winners are ordered based on total number of points.
The male award has been criticized[by whom?] for focusing mainly on players from the UEFA Champions League and largely ignoring players from the South American Copa Libertadores, which has produced more world club champions than Europe. The international leagues of the remaining confederations are also completely ignored.
The award started in 1991 for men and 2001 for women. Since the award's inception, European-based Brazilian players have dominated the male awards, having won 8 out of 18 editions of the prize, far ahead of the top second country France, which has won it 3 times.
The award's youngest winner, male or female, is Ronaldo, who won at the age of 20 in 1996. He won it again in 1997 and 2002. Marta is the only player to win it four times in a row, Birgit Prinz won three times in a row, while Ronaldo, Mia Hamm and Ronaldinho have won twice in a row. Marta is the only four-time winner, while Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, and Prinz have won the award three times.
The oldest winner is Fabio Cannavaro who won in 2006 at age 33. The oldest female winner is Hamm, who won in 2002 at age 30, and the youngest female winner is Marta, who won in 2006 at age 20 (seven months older than Ronaldo in 1996).
Since 2010, the FIFA World Player of the Year and France Football's Ballon d'Or award have been merged. The world’s best player will be awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or each year.
Nomination and selection process-Following criticism from some sections of the media over some questionable nominations in previous years, in 2004 FIFA drew up a shortlist of 35 men and 21 women from which national team managers and, for the first time, team captains and representatives from FIFPro (the worldwide representative organization for professional players) could vote.
Another criticism brought up[by whom?] against the men's nominations is that no player in activity outside of Europe has ever been nominated for the award. Juan Román Riquelme is the only player nominated for the annual award who played for a team outside Europe within the year, on loan to Boca Juniors from Villarreal for the first half of 2007. Although players from several nationalities, of three continents, have been nominated and won the award, they were all playing for European clubs at the time of their nomination or victory.
It has also been suggested that players active in the leagues of other top non-European nations (such as the Argentine, the Brazilian, or the Mexican Leagues), are generally overlooked for the award. Brazilian club teams won the first three editions of the FIFA Club World Cup, yet not one player from those teams was nominated for the men's world player of the year award, whereas the European champions that the Brazilian club teams beat in the last two finals had more than a few players nominated for the award.
In 2010 France Football’s Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award have been merged.The world’s best player will from on be awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or each year.