London, UK. Sept 22: Nigeria Super Eagles legend and former Bolton Wanderers captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha was one of the FIFA legends that announced the finalists for the 2017 FIFA Best awards at an event in London. The final nominees for a host of The Best FIFA Football Awards have been revealed at an event in London, with ceremony itself billed for London, UK on 23 October. Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha attended the event at the Bloomsbury Ballroom in London alongside former Italian midfielder Roberto Di Matteo, England’s Women international Alex Scott, Ukraine legend Andriy Shevchenko and ex-England goalkeeper Peter Shilton.
Final shortlists for seven awards were announced in London with 2016 winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Carli Lloyd in final three again. FIFA also declared open voting for Puskás Award and Fan Award voting.
The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 Cristiano Ronaldo is once more in the final three, with long-time rival for FIFA’s top individual award Lionel Messi also in the top trio, alongside his former Barcelona team-mate Neymar.
It’s also a return to the top table for The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2016 Carli Lloyd, who remains in the running alongside 18-year-old Venezuelan prodigy Deyna Castellanos and Netherlands and Barça star Lieke Martens.
Photo: FIFA Legends Roberto Di Matteo, Jay Jay Okocha, Alex Scott, Andriy Shevchenko and Peter Shilton select fifa best final nominees
There’s a distinct sentimento italiano in the list of The Best FIFA Men’s Coach finalists, with former Juventus player and 2016 finalist Zinedine Zidane in the final three once more, while the Italian duo of Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri and former Gli Azzurri midfielder Antonio Conte both make their debut in the list of finalists. It’s a totally new top three for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach, with Denmark’s Nils Nielsen, Olympique Lyonnais coach Gerard Precheur and the Netherlands’ Sarina Wiegman all finalists for the first time.
Other highlights from today’s announcement in London, with FIFA Legends Roberto Di Matteo, Jay Jay Okocha, Alex Scott, Andriy Shevchenko and Peter Shilton in attendance, saw the nominees for the inaugural The Best FIFA Goalkeeper award announced. Gianluigi Buffon, Keylor Navas and Manuel Neuer make up the first ever shortlist for the award recognising the game’s top custodians.
Also, the ten candidates for the FIFA Puskás Award and the three finalists for the FIFA Fan Award were revealed – with voting now open to fans across the world.
Jay Jay Okocha In FIFA 11-Man Panel To Select World Best Player
Zürich, Switzerland. Former Nigeria international and Bolton Wanderers Legend, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha is on the panel, announced by FIFA on Wednesday via their official website, that will select the 23-man shortlist for the 2017 best FIFA men’s Player award. Other football legends who are in the 11-man panel are Argentina legend Diego Maradona and Netherlands great Edwin van der Sar, Colombian icon Carlos Valderrama, Brazil 1994 and 2002 FIFA World Cup winner CAFU, Carles Puyol who won the 2010 World Cup with Spain, Japan’s Hidetoshi Nakata, Alex Frei of Switzerland, Enzo Francescoli of Uruguay, Landon Donovan of the United States of America and New Zeland’s Ivan Vicelich.
The 23-man shortlist will be decided by the legends on Thursday.
Nominees in other categories that will also be decided on Thursday are Best FIFA Women’s Coach, Best FIFA Men’s Coach and Best FIFA Women’s Player.
The ceremony where all winners will be crowned holds in London on Monday, 23 October 2017.
Photo: Austin Jay-Jay Okocha
Okocha represented Nigeria at three FIFA senior World Cups in USA 1994, France 1998 and Korea/Japan 2002.
The world’s governing body of football, FIFA, 11-man panel consists of Austin Okocha (Nigeria), Cafú (Brazil), Landon Donovan (USA), Enzo Francescoli (Uruguay), Alex Frei (Switzerland), Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan), Diego Maradona (Argentina), Carles Puyol (Spain), Carlos Valderrama (Colombia), Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands) and Ivan Vicelich (New Zealand)