Soccer

Ballon d’Or 2015: The winners

Ballon d’Or 2015: The winners

Ballon d’Or 2015 The winners 2016 imagesThe United States Women’s National Team Captain Carli Lloyd was named the Women’s Player of the Year while Jill Ellis was presented with the Women’s Coach of the Year award for their contributions in winning the Women’s World Cup in Canada in July last year.

Lloyd netted 10 international goals in 2015 and also won the Golden Ball for her performances at the World Cup.

“This has been a dream of mine ever since I started my journey with the national team,” the 33-year USWNT captain said. “Celia and Aya [Miyama, fellow nominees] are phenomenal footballers and just as deserving of this award.

“I want to thank everyone who voted for me and everyone at US Soccer for their support. I want to thank Jill and the coaching staff.

“I honestly wouldn’t be standing up here without my incredible team-mates, and we all know that it took 23 players to win the World Cup last summer, so thank you to them.

“To James, we started this journey 13 years ago, and you told me I could become the best player in the world… it’s just took me until now to realise I could.”

Jill Ellis took charge of the team on a full-time basis in 2014. She guided the USA to their third World Cup win and was certainly the most deserving candidate.

“Wow, a true honour,” Ellis said. “First let me congratulate all the nominees here this evening. It’s such a thrill to be part of such an amazing football family.

“To Mark [Sampson, England coach] and Norio [Sasaki, Japan coach], thanks for making it hard and thank you for continuing to elevate the game and leaders in women’s football.

“This certainly represents a whole lot of people so, certainly, to my players, our captions, the staff back in the US right now, it’s my sincere gratitude for your commitment and your effort and belief in this team.I really, truly believe this is a team award.

Luis Enrique won the Men’s World Coach of the Year. The Barcelona boss won five major trophies with the Catalan giants throughout 2015. However, the Spaniard wasn’t present at the ceremony to collect the award. The winners were chosen by the coaches and captains of the national teams as well as by international media representatives invited by FIFA and France Football.

The annual FIFA Fair Play Award was presented to all the football clubs and organizations, who are working to support the refugees all over the world.

Unknown Brazilian player Wendell Lira won the Puskas Award ahead of Lionel Messi and Alessandro Florenzi. The result of the votes left the football world dumbfounded and Messi, who was the favourite for the best goal of the year, will have to satisfy himself with just the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or trophy.

The 2015 FIFA FIFPro World XI was also announced at the ceremony in Zurich. Here’s the team resultant of the votes from 26,478 professional players:  Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (PSG), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Neymar (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) and Lionel Messi (Barcelona).

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Luka Alario is our latest Soccer writer who hails from Italy. He's as passionate about Soccer as we are about football so he's a great addition to our sports team.

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