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Guardiola, Klopp, Pochettino make list as FIFA unveils Best Football Awards finalists [See full list]


FIFA Best Awards

FIFA, on Monday, released the three-man finalists for each of the eight categories of The Best FIFA Football Awards at the iconic San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy.

The world football governing body said The Best FIFA Women’s Player trophy will have a totally new name on the honour’s board this year, with a trio of fresh finalists named.

In a year punctuated by the extraordinary festival of women’s football – the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the top three for each of The Best Women’s Player and Coach awards are unsurprisingly stars who shone brightest in France 2019 Women’s World Cup.

World Cup winners USA have two nominees among the three finalists in the Best Women’s Player category – Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, they are joined in the category by semi-finalists England’s Lucy Bronze who won the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Award last Thursday.

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For The Best FIFA Women’s Coach, as expected USA’s coach, Jill Ellis, is named among the finalists, while 2017 winner and France 2019 finalist – Sarina Wiegman of Netherlands, as well as England’s coach Phil Neville, also make the list.

The English Premier League dominates the Best FIFA Men’s Coach category with all the nominees – Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and
Mauricio Pochettino plying their trade in England.

WuzupNigeria reported earlier that Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk have been shortlisted as finalists for The Best FIFA Men’s Player category.

READ ALSO: FIFA announces Messi, Ronaldo, van Dijk as finalists for men’s player award

All eight of the awards, as well as the inaugural FIFA/FIFPro Women’s World11, the FIFA FIFPro Men’s World11 and the FIFA Fair Play Award, will be handed out on 23 September in front of football’s biggest names at the Teatro all Scala in Milan.

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The Best FIFA Football Awards finalists in full

The Best FIFA Men’s Player
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) – Juventus
Lionel Messi (ARG) – FC Barcelona
Virgil van Dijk (NED) – Liverpool

The Best FIFA Women’s Player
Lucy Bronze (ENG) – Olympique Lyonnais
Alex Morgan (USA) – Orlando Pride
Megan Rapinoe (USA) – Reign FC

The Best FIFA Men’s Coach
Pep Guardiola (ESP) – Manchester City
Jurgen Klopp (GER) – Liverpool
Mauricio Pochettino (ARG) – Tottenham Hotspur

The Best FIFA Women’s Coach
Jill Ellis (USA) – USA national team
Phil Neville (ENG) – England national team
Sarina Wiegman (NED) – Netherlands national team

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FIFA Fan Award
Silvia Grecco (BRA)
Netherlands Fans at the Women’s World Cup (NED)
Justo Sánchez (URU)

The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper
Alisson (BRA) – Liverpool
Ederson (BRA) – Manchester City
Marc-André ter Stegen (GER) – FC Barcelona

The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper
Christiane Endler (CHI) – Paris Saint-Germain
Hedvig Lindahl (SWE) – Chelsea /Wolfsburg
Sari van Veenendaal (NED) – Arsenal / Atletico Madrid

FIFA Puskás Award
Lionel Messi (ARG) – Real Betis v FC Barcelona [La Liga] (17 March 2019)
Juan Fernando Quintero (COL) – River Plate v Racing Club [Argentinian Superliga] (10 February 2019)
Dániel Zsóri (HUN) – Debrecen FC v Ferencváros TC [Nemzeti Bajnoskag I] (16 February 2019)


Victor Osimhen: Why Super Eagles star is yet to sign N6.5 billion Napoli deal- Agent



Lille and Nigeria striker, Victor Osimhen is set to make a decision about a potential move to Napoli this week after meeting Napoli club officials, his agent Osita Okolo has revealed.

The Nigeria international has been heavily linked with transfers across Europe after his outstanding debut campaign in France that earned him the award for the best African player in Ligue 1 this year.

Napoli is reportedly trying to close the deal with Victor Osimhen in the next few days, as respected Italian journalist Nicolò Schira reports that LOSC forward Osimhen has been offered a five-year deal worth €3m (N1.3b) a year totalling (N6.5b) for five years plus add-ons at the San Paolo.

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Osimhen, who scored 18 goals in his first season at Lille, was in Italy last week to meet Napoli’s coach Genarro Gattuso and club president De Laurentiis. He also arrived the city to receive the club’s transfer offer and tour the city, however, his agent has disclosed that the final decision will be made by the player this week.

“Victor went to Naples with his representatives. We talked and exchanged views on the city: the impressions were good, to tell you the truth,” Okolo told Calcio Napoli 24 .

“Victor isn’t always shy, although he would’ve preferred to make an important decision with less media exposure.

“After meeting De Laurentiis, Giuntoli and Gattuso, he told me he needed some time to make a decision, without any pressure.

“Later this week he’ll drop his concerns and confirm his decision, whether he decides to accept Napoli’s offer or not.”

READ ALSO: Tottenham vs Everton: I have no interest in winning the ‘Fair Play Cup’- Mourinho

Okolo claimed Gattuso has assured the 21-year-old of his faith in him as a starter at the club.

“We’re waiting. [His decision] may come not long after today. The coach made him feel wanted. He believes a lot in [Osimhen’s] ability and what he can do,” he continued.

“Victor told me there was an agreement on everything but that there was still a couple more things to iron out before the final decision: the announcement should be made by tomorrow.

“I think it’s important for him to have a starting place, to grow further, even if there are no guarantees in the world of football.

“At Wolfsburg they promised him several things, then they moved the goalposts. Victor doesn’t want to get this decision wrong.

“I think Napoli would be the right place for him to grow, but he has the final say.”

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Tottenham vs Everton: I have no interest in winning the ‘Fair Play Cup’- Mourinho



Tottenham Hotspur manager, Jose Mourinho, has said he has no interest in winning the “Fair Play Cup”.

This follows the on-field spat between goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris and Heung-Min Son at the end of the first half of their 1-0 win over Everton on Monday.

Mourinho said the fight should have happened in the dressing room rather than on the pitch, but that was where his disapproval ended.

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READ ALSO: Arsenal vs Leicester: Arteta to use Lacazette in swap deal for Partey

“A team of good boys, a team of nice boys, the only thing they can win at the end of the season is the Fair Play Cup. Something I have never won and have no interest in winning that.

“You have to have certain characteristics. I don’t like a team without communication in a critical way.

“What happened should not happen on the pitch, it should happen inside the dressing room, but I promise you my winning teams we had big fights, big fights in the team,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.

Lloris exchanged angry words with Son at the break, with the two players needing to be separated by Giovani Lo Celso, as the captain continued to criticize his team-mate for failing to track an Everton run just before the interval.

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Arsenal vs Leicester: Arteta to use Lacazette in swap deal for Partey



Arsenal could use Alexandre Lacazette in a swap deal for their top target, Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey.

Lacazette has two more years left on his current contract with the Gunners, but manager Mikel Arteta has preferred Eddie Nketiah for some games since the restart.

Arteta’s priority this summer remains to extend Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s deal while strengthening his midfield ahead of next season.

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Partey has been strongly linked with Arsenal and the Ghanaian is believed to be interested in a move to the Emirates.

Atletico Madrid are also keen to land Lacazette in part-exchange for Partey, according to L’Equipe.

Juventus and Milan are monitoring the 29-year-old’s situation at the Emirates, but Arteta will be keen for him to join the LaLiga side and facilitate Partey’s arrival.

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