Latin American Soccer Players Among Contenders For FIFA Ballon d’Or Award

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Marta Vieira da Silva
News Americas, SAN PAOLO, Brazil, Fri. Dec. 13, 2013: The countdown is on to this year’s prestigious soccer awards, the FIFA Ballon d’Or award and Latin America is represented in both the male and female categories.

Lionel Messi of Argentina has made the list for the best male player of 2013 while Brazil’s Marta Vieira da Silva is on the best female player of 2013 list.
Messi is widely recognized as the best player in the world and rated by some commentators, coaches and players as the greatest footballer of all time.

He is the first football player in history to win four FIFA/Ballons d’Or, all of which he won consecutively, as well as the first to win three European Golden Shoe awards. Messi is the first and only player to top-score in four consecutive Champions League campaigns, and also holds the record for the most hat-tricks scored in the history of the competition.

Marta has been named FIFA World Player of the Year five consecutive times, in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. She was a member of the Brazilian national teams that won the silver medal at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.

She was also awarded the Golden Ball (MVP) at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship. In the 2007 Women’s World Cup, she won both the Golden Ball award as the best player and the Golden Boot award as the top scorer. She also tops the all–time Women’s World Cup goal scorer list alongside Birgit Prinz.

In January 2013 she was named as one of the six Ambassadors of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, others being Amarildo, Bebeto, Carlos Alberto Torres, Ronaldo and Mario Zagallo.

Also on the list are Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) and Franck Ribéry (France) as well as Nadine Angerer (Germany), and Abby Wambach (USA) who made the women’s short list.

All the nominees were confirmed after a voting process which was open to the captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams of the 209 member associations as well as to international media representatives selected by FIFA and France Football voted for candidates.

The awards will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 13, 2014 during a televised show to be streamed live on FIFA.com and FIFA on YouTube.

WORLD CUP
Following the Final Draw of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, FIFA has now confirmed the match schedule for the 64 matches of next year’s carnival of football. The final match schedule is now available on FIFA.com.

In total, only seven matches have been adjusted following the draw to allow later kick-off times in the hottest venues – in particular, for three matches in Manaus and one in Recife. The following games’ kick-off times have been adjusted (all times stated are local):

Saturday 14 June
Côte d’Ivoire-Japan, 22:00 (from 19:00) in Recife
England-Italy, 18:00 (from 21:00) in Manaus (similar conditions as at 21:00)

Wednesday 18 June
Cameroon-Croatia, 18:00 (from 15:00) in Manaus
Spain-Chile, 16:00 (from 19:00) in Rio de Janeiro

Sunday 22 June
USA-Portugal, 18:00 (from 15:00) in Manaus
Belgium-Russia, 13:00 (from 19:00) in Rio de Janeiro
Korea Republic-Algeria, 16:00 (from 13:00) in Porto Alegre

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