CHICAGO (Dec. 1, 2014) – U.S. forward Abby Wambach has been named one of three finalists for the 2014 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, joining Nadine Kessler of Germany and Marta of Brazil.
Wambach, who was the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, led the USA in scoring in 2014 with 14 goals, upping her world record for international goals to 177. Wambach’s most recent match for the USA featured a four-goal performance against Costa Rica on Oct. 26 as the USA won 6-0 to take the title at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
In National Women’s Soccer League play, Wambach missed numerous games due to injury, starting just 10 matches for the Western New York Flash, but still scored six times with four assists.
This is the fourth time Wambach has been in the final three for the award. She finished second in 2013, won the award in 2012 and finished third in 2011. She finished fourth in the voting in 2004 and 2006, fifth in 2007, was one of the final 10 in 2009 and was fifth again in 2010.
Mia Hamm is the only other American to have previously won the FIFA Women’s World Player award, winning in 2001 and 2002, the first two years it was given out.
Wambach made the final three through voting by the captains and head coaches of almost all the women’s national teams throughout the world as well as by international media representatives.
The finalists for the Men’s World Player of the Year are Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Portugal, Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Argentina and Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich and Germany.
All the awards, along with the the FIFA Puskás Award for the most beautiful goal of the year, will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 12, 2015, during a televised show to be streamed live on FIFA.com and FIFA on YouTube.
In addition to the above awards, the recipient of the FIFA Presidential Award and the winner of the FIFA Fair Play award will also be revealed during the award ceremony.
The finalists for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football were also announced. In alphabetical order, the contenders are:Carlo Ancelotti (Italy / Real Madrid CF), Joachim Loew (Germany / German national team) and Diego Simeone (Argentina / Atlético de Madrid) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award, and Ralf Kellermann (Germany / VfL Wolfsburg), Maren Meinert (Germany / German U-19 and U-20 national teams) and Norio Sasaki (Japan / Japanese national team) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award.