The 2015/2016 football season offered a whole range of emotions to the international footballing public. Many achieved important results and historic records, both on the pitch and off it, creating a season marked by great spectacle and entertainment.
And to crown a year full of surprises, on 27 and 28 December there will be a new edition of Globe Soccer, the annual meeting for football market operators, accompanied as always by the Globe Soccer Awards (27 December), during which prestigious guests will be honored (including the stars of the last season) and from among whom will be chosen the award winners for 2016.
- Best Player of the Year
- Best Club of the Year
- Best Coach of the Year
- Best Referee of the Year
- Best Kooora GCC Player of the Year
- Best Kooora GCC Club of the Year
- Best Arab Player of the Year
- Best Chinese Player of the Year
- Best Agent of the Year
- Player Career Award
- Best Sports Media Agency
During the last edition, Barcelona dominated the Globe Soccer Awards, winning best club of the year. Its President Josep Maria Bartomeu was best chairman, and Lionel Messi was best player and best media attraction.
Other important awards included career awards won by Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard, the award for best referee of the year presented to Ravshan Irmatov, the award for best coach of the year presented to Marc Wilmots, and the award to Jorge Mendes as best agent. Alongside these awards, there was also the award presented to Yasser Al-Shahrani for GCC best player of the year, presented directly by Kooora.
Naturally also the next edition of the event will be full of surprises – including the foreshadowed award for the best player in the Chinese Super League, in collaboration with Sina Sports – but in the meantime, we can inform the Globe Soccer public of the candidates for the awards for best player of the year, best club of the year, best coach of the year, and best referee of the year.
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Lionel Messi
- Jamie Vardy
- Gonzalo Higuain
- Gareth Bale
- Antoine Griezmann
The first candidate as best player is Cristiano Ronaldo, who has proven his talent in recent years and is considered as one of the best players of all time. During his career, Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or three times, the Scarpa d’Oro four times, and the Globe Soccer Award four times.
During the last season, the Portuguese player was the absolute star in Europe, achieving outstanding results, such as the victory in the Champions League with Real Madrid (in which he was top scorer with 16 goals in 12 appearances) and victory at Euro 2016 with Portugal (with three goals and three assists in seven games).
During his career, Ronaldo has won numerous trophies, at both domestic and international levels. In Portugal with Sporting Lisbon, he won a Portuguese Super Cup in 2002. In England with Manchester United, he won the FA Cup (2003/2004), two League Cups (2005/2006 and 2008/2009), and three Premier League titles (2006/2007, 2007/2008, and 2008/2009). With Manchester United, Ronaldo has won one Champions League title (2007/2008) and a Club World Cup (2008). Finally, in Spain with Real Madrid, he has won two Spanish Cups (2010/2011 and 2013/2014), one Spanish Championship (2011/2012), and one Spanish Super Cup (2012). To these may also be added important trophies in international competitions: a UEFA Super Cup won in 2014 and two Champions League titles won in 2013/2014 and 2015/2016.
Cristiano Ronaldo is also a record breaker. He is the only player who, for six seasons running (from 2010/2011 to 2015/2016), has scored at least 30 goals in the Spanish championship and the only one to have scored 95 goals in the Champions League. Ronaldo, from his first call-up for the Portuguese national team, holds the record for appearances (133) and goals (61).
The second candidate as best player of the year is Lionel Messi, the star player at Barcelona, who, together with Cristiano Ronaldo, is considered one of the best players in the history of football. It is no coincidence that the Argentine’s trophy case already contains five Ballons d’Or, three Scarpe d’oro, and one Globe Soccer Award as best player of the year in 2015.
During the last season, Messi managed to win three domestic titles with Barcelona – the Spanish Championship, the Spanish Cup, and the Spanish Super Cup. In one of these competitions (the Spanish Cup 2015/2016), he was top scorer with five goals (equal with Luis Suárez, Munir, Álvaro Negredo, and John Guidetti).
During his career with Barcelona from 2004, Messi has won various trophies, winning the Spanish championship eight times (2004/2005, 2005/2006, 2008/2009, 2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2012/2013, 2014/2015, and 2015/2016), the Spanish Cup four times (2008/2009, 2011/2012, 2014/2015, and 2015/2016) and the Spanish Super Cup seven times (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2016). In international competitions, he has won the UEFA Champions League four times (2005/2006, 2008/2009, 2010/2011, and 2014/2015), the UEFA Super Cup three times (2009, 2011, and 2015) and the Club World Cup three times (2009, 2011, and 2015). With Argentina, he also won an Olympic gold medal during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Messi has set various records during his career. He is, for example, the only player to have scored at least 20 goals for eight seasons running and is the player with the most goals in the Spanish league (316). Also Messi, like Ronaldo, is the top goal scorer for his national team (Argentina), with 56 goals in 114 appearances.
The third candidate for the Globe Soccer Award for best player of the year is without any doubt Jamie Vardy who, with Leicester City and under the leadership of Claudio Ranieri, managed to pull off a daunting feat, that of winning the Premier League. The team finished above internationally famous clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United, with players of the caliber of Eden Hazard, Sergio Aguero, and Wayne Rooney. At the end of the 2015/2016 season, Vardy was the second top scorer in the Premier League and the top scorer at Leicester with 24 goals.
Jamie Vardy’s history is very different from that of the other stars. Before being bought by Leicester in 2012 at the age of 25, Vardy was an amateur, first at Stocksbridge Park Steels, then, from the summer of 2010, at Halifax Town FC. During his first season with Halifax Town, Vardy was top scorer with 29 goals and led the team to victory in the Northern Premier League.
In the following season, he moved from Halifax Town to Fleetwood Town, a team in the Premier Conference, with which he won the championship. The club was promoted to the Football League and Vardy ended the season as top scorer in the Conference Premier, with 31 goals.
Finally, in the summer of 2012 he was bought by Leicester City, when the club was still in the Championship. In the 2013/2014 season, he won the Championship (scoring 16 goals) and promotion to the Premier League. During his first season in England’s top league, Vardy scored five times. In the 2015/2016 season, by scoring in 11 matches running, the English player set a personal record and overtook the record held by Ruud van Nistelrooy (who scored in ten consecutive matches).
The fourth candidate for the award as best player of the season is Gonzalo Higuain, the Argentine player who currently plays for Juventus. Last season, he led Naples to second place in the Serie A, scoring a record number of goals (36) in the Italian championship and thus surpassing the holder of the previous record (35 goals in Serie A), Gunnar Nordahl.
During his career before joining Naples, he played at Real Madrid for six years from 2007 to 2013, where he won the Spanish championship three times (2006/2007, 2007/2008, and 2011/2012), the Spanish Super Cup twice (2008 and 2012) and the Spanish Cup once (2010/2011).
In 2013, the Argentine decided to leave Real Madrid to move to the Serie A with Naples. Here, during the 2013/2014 season, he won both the Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup and in the 2015/2016 season he was top scorer in the Serie A. In the summer of 2016, he was bought by Juventus, where he continues to show his quality and his great attacking skills.
The fifth candidate for best player of the year is Gareth Bale, the Real Madrid player alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, and thus he too was a winner of the UEFA Champions League in the 2015/2016 season.
During the last season, despite being affected by numerous injuries, he managed to achieve very important results. In the Spanish League, he scored 19 times (also providing ten assists) in just 23 appearances. In the Champions League, he provided three assists in eight appearances, not counting that he scored one of the penalties against Atletico Madrid in the final at the San Siro stadium, which helped the team to victory. His presence was very important also for Wales in Euro 2016, where he scored three times, goals that were essential as Wales fought through to the semifinals.
During his career before joining Real Madrid, he played for Tottenham from 2007 to 2013, where he stood out for the number of goals he scored, for his support for his teammates, and for winning the PFA player of the year award and the PFA young player of the year award in the same season (before him a feat only achieved by Cristiano Ronaldo and Andy Gray). With Tottenham, Bale won the English League Cup in the 2007/2008 season.
After moving to Real Madrid, he managed to win various trophies with his new teammates: a Spanish Cup in the 2013/2014 season, a Club World Cup (2014), two UEFA Champions League titles (2013/2014 and 2015/2016) and two UEFA Super Cups (2014 and 2015). With Bale’s arrival, Real Madrid, which had not won the Champions League for over ten years, managed to win the competition twice in just three years, proving the great contribution that this champion offers his team.
The sixth and final candidate is Antoine Griezmann, a French player who plays for Atletico Madrid in the Spanish League and who is an important forward in the French national team.
During the 2015/2016 season with Atletico Madrid, he managed to finish third in the League with 88 points, behind only Barcelona and Real Madrid, scoring 22 times in 38 matches. He also played in the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid, only losing on penalties. In the Champions League, he scored seven times in 13 games and so is considered one of the most important players in his team’s route to the final.
Also in Euro 2016, he stood out for the number of goals scored (six), being the top scorer in the competition (before him only Michel Platini in 1984 had done better with nine goals in a single edition). Thanks to this, he led the French team to the final, but they lost in extra time against Portugal. The contribution from his goals was, therefore, decisive in reaching the final and for this Griezmann was named Best player of the tournament, and he also won the Adidas Golden Boot.
During his career, the French attacker, who joined Atletico Madrid aged 23, has won a Spanish Super Cup (2014) against the direct rivals of Real Madrid.
- Real Madrid
- Legia Varsavia
- Molde FK
The first club to be a candidate as best of the year is Real Madrid. The Spanish club is among the most prestigious in the world and won a Globe Soccer Award in 2014 as Best Club of the Year. The countless victories of this club guarantee it has an impressive record both nationally and internationally.
In the 2015/2016 season, the Blancos managed to further increase their lead over the other European teams, winning the 11th Champions League in their history, the second in three years. Immediately after Real Madrid there is AC Milan, winner of seven trophies in the top European competition, and after AC Milan are Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Barcelona with just five victories.
Besides the total number of victories in the European Cup/Champions League, Real Madrid has the record for consecutive victories, to be precise five, with three different coaches, José Villalonga in 1955/1956 and 1956/1957, Luis Carniglia in 1957/1958 and 1958/1959, and Miguel Muñoz in 1959/1960. In the Spanish League, Real Madrid has won the championship the most with 32 victories.
Thanks to its countless victories, the club’s prestige has never waned and for this reason Real Madrid has twice in its history been at the top of the UEFA ranking (another record).
The second candidate club for the Globe Soccer Awards for best club of the year is Legia Warsaw, a Polish club, which this year became Polish champions for the 11th time.
Legia Warsaw is one of the clubs that has won the Polish championship the most times, together with Ruch Chorzow and Gornik Zabrze, which have won a total of 14 championships, and Wisla Krakow, which has won 13 times. Legia Warsaw has won the Polish Cup the most times, with 18 victories in total.
In the current season, the Warsaw club has already achieved an important result in qualifying for the first time in the last 21 years for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. The last time was the 1995/1996 season, the year in which the Poles were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the leading European competition by Panathinaikos.
The third candidate as best club is Leicester City FC, an English club that last season managed to awaken the dreams of millions of fans worldwide, going from being a low-ranking club playing largely in the Championship or in the bottom half of the Premier League table, to a top club.
In the 2015/2016 season, this club achieved a groundbreaking feat, that of winning the Premier League for the first time in 132 years since its foundation, prevailing over teams of the caliber of Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Chelsea, and thus positioning itself as a worthy rival of the biggest clubs.
Leicester’s fairy tale was followed worldwide by millions of fans of other clubs and the dream became reality when, on 1 May, the English club mathematically became champions of England.
This club can, therefore, be considered also as a symbol of the phenomenon of globalization in the new millennium: in another era, it would have been very difficult for a small club such as Leicester to reach millions of people worldwide. However, today this is possible and so the English dream reached every corner of the globe.
The fourth candidate club for the Globe Soccer Awards is Seville FC, a Spanish club which in recent years has achieved very important results, above all at European level. On 18 May, the Spanish team managed to win their third consecutive Europa League, beating Liverpool in Basel.
With this victory, Seville set two important records: not only has this club won this trophy the most times, with five victories in total, but it is also the only team in the history of the UEFA Cup/Europa League to win three times.
The feat that Seville achieved is unmatched in recent history and may, perhaps, be ranked alongside only Real Madrid in the ’50s, when from 1955/1956 to 1959/1960, their Madrid colleagues managed to win the European Cup five times running.
Finally, the fifth candidate team for the Globe Soccer Awards is Molde FK, a team that plays in the Eliteserien, Norway’s top league, in which it has won three championships (2011, 2012, and 2014) and four Norwegian Cups (1994, 2005, 2013, and 2014), while also finishing second in the table seven times.
Molde FK this year won the ECA award for the best progress in the year. Thanks to an excellent season in the Europa League, where the Norwegian team managed to come through the group stage (after which it was eliminated by the current champions Seville), Molde managed to rise up the UEFA club ranking, going from 164th in the 2014/2015 season to 97th in the 2015/2016 season, and so going up 67 positions in total.
- Zinedine Zidane
- Claudio Ranieri
- Fernando Santos
- Massimiliano Allegri
- Unai Emery
The first candidate for the title of Globe Soccer best coach of the year is Zinedine Zidane, the French coach who as been at Real Madrid for less than a year. Despite his short time as coach of the club, he has already managed to win two very important titles, both during the 2015/2016 season, the Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup.
Zidane, after deciding to retire from playing in 2007, started to follow the path that led him to become a coach. In 2013, while maintaining his role as sports director at Real Madrid, he began to support Carlo Ancelotti as his assistant. Then a year later, in the summer of 2014, he was nominated as coach of Real Madrid Castilla, Real Madrid’s second team, which plays in the Spanish third division.
On 4 January, owing to problems with the first team, the club decided to let Rafa Benitez go as coach of Real Madrid and to entrust this position to Zidane, who for the first time in his career found himself coaching a club in one of the leading football leagues.
Zidane’s feats as coach in the top Spanish League in less than a year are among the most impressive of the last season: over half a season, he managed to transform a club that was struggling into winners of the Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup.
The second candidate for the Globe Soccer Award as best coach of the year is Claudio Ranieri, the Italian coach who was responsible for another great feat, that of transforming Leicester from a lowly club to the winner of one of the hardest and most popular championships in the world, the Premier League.
Before becoming coach at Leicester, Ranieri, during his long coaching career, had coached at various clubs in Italy (Naples, Florence, Parma, Juventus, AS Roma, and Inter Milan), in Spain (Valencia and Atletico Madrid), in England (Chelsea), and in France (Monaco). In 2014, the year prior to his engagement at Leicester, he had also coached Greece.
Among his titles in the top European leagues are an Italian Cup and an Italian Super Cup won with Florence, and a Spanish Cup, a UEFA Intertoto Cup and a UEFA Super Cup won with Valencia. Since 2004, the year of his victory in the UEFA Super Cup with Valencia, he had not won any further trophies until his return to England in the summer of 2015.
At the start of his adventure with Leicester, he had been asked to help the team avoid relegation, without any greater ambitions. However, for Claudio Ranieri this was not enough. For the Italian coach, Leicester was and is above all a team just like others, made up of players, but moreover, it was made up of intelligent men (“Once you’ve got intelligent men in the changing room it is easy to improve players”). For this reason, it is a team which, like all the others, could have lost, but could also win.
And so with determination and strength of will, Ranieri led Leicester to its first Premier League title in its 132-year history, sending a very strong message to all fans, all players, and all teams worldwide.
The third candidate for the best coach of the year award is Fernando Santos, the coach of the Portuguese national team, who with their victory at Euro 2016 won a place in the annals of great sporting achievements. And it was truly a great achievement if we think that for the first time in history, Portugal managed, under its home-grown coach, to win an international trophy.
Fernando Santos, very calmly and quietly, guided his men to this important result, creating a united and consequently successful group. He very placidly noted during interviews and press conferences that his talking would be done on the pitch. And it was on the pitch that Portugal fought to victory.
In the past, Santos has shown his great ability to create a strong team spirit among his players by communicating with each of them in the changing room. And this quality made him a winner with clubs, such as Porto, with which he won a Portuguese championship, a Portuguese Cup and a Portuguese Super Cup, and AEK Athens, with which he won the Greek Cup in 2002.
The fourth candidate for best coach of the year is the Italian Massimiliano Allegri, coach of Juventus, who last season led his players to three Italian titles: the Championship, the Italian Cup, and the Italian Super Cup. Allegri, thus, won his second consecutive championship with Juventus (the fifth running for Juventus) and his second consecutive Italian Cup.
Together with these titles won with Juve, Allegri can also boast a further Championship title and an Italian Super Cup won with AC Milan in the 2010/2011 season during his first year with the club.
During his time at Juventus, in his first season (2014/2015), he also managed to lead his team to the Champions League final against Barcelona, coming close to winning a treble, which would have been the first both for him and for Juventus itself.
The fifth and final candidate as best coach of the year is Unai Emery, the current coach of Paris Saint-Germain, in Ligue 1, with which, following his arrival in the summer of 2016, he has already won the French Super Cup.
Before his arrival at PSG, Emery was coach at Seville in Spain from 2013/2014 to 2015/2016, and with them he won the UEFA Europa League three years running.
Emery is, therefore, together with Giovanni Trapattoni, the holder of the record for the number of UEFA Cup/Europa League career wins. However, unlike Trapattoni, he holds two other records: first of all he is the first coach to win this trophy for three consecutive seasons and above all he is the first to win it three times as coach of the same team.
- Alireza Faghani
- Bakary Papa Gassama
- Mark Clattenburg
- Nestor Pitana
- Joel Antonio Aguilar
The first candidate for the Globe Soccer Awards for best referee of the year is Alireza Faghani, a referee in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). He is among the best-known referees in Iranian football. Faghani became a referee in 2007 and as soon as the following year, he had earned his FIFA qualification and started to referee in important events in Asia such as the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup. In 2009, he refereed the final of the AFC President’s Cup and a year later the final of the AFC Challenge Cup. Subsequently, he was also designated, as the fourth official, to referee at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
In 2015, he was selected for the Asian Nations Cup, in which he refereed five games. In the same year, he then refereed the final of the Club World Cup between River Plate and Barcelona and in May 2016, he was selected to referee two men’s group stage matches at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the final on 20 August 2016 between Brazil and Germany.
BAKARY PAPA GASSAMA
The second candidate for best referee of the year is the Gambian Bakary Papa Gassama, a referee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), who started his career in 2003, becoming a FIFA referee in 2007.
In 2009, he started his career in the top African competition, the CAF Champions League, and two years later, on 11 February 2011, he was for the first time the referee of a match between two top nations, Rwanda and Tunisia. The following year, he made his debut in the African Cup, in which he refereed a match in the group stage and a quarterfinal.
In 2012, he was then called up as a referee to work at the Men’s tournament at the 2012 London Olympics, in which he refereed two of the group stage games, thanks to which he was then celebrated in his home country as Best referee of the year. In 2013, he was selected to referee three games at the African Nations Cup, including a semifinal, and the return leg of the CAF Champions League final. Subsequently he was chosen by FIFA to referee in two play-offs and in a semifinal of the Club World Cup in Morocco (2013).
In January 2015, after his experience in Brazil 2014, he was chosen to referee a quarterfinal and the final of the African Nations Cup.
The third candidate for best referee of the year is the Englishman Mark Clattenburg, a UEFA referee who, after working as an assistant referee for just one year (a record shared with Steve Baines), started his refereeing career aged just 25. In a very short time, between 2000 and 2004, after refereeing in the lower English leagues, Clattenburg started to referee officially in the Premier League.
In 2006, he became a FIFA referee at the age of 30, reaching this goal at a younger age than any other English colleague and in August 2008, he was appointed for the first time as the referee for a UEFA Champions League match.
In 2010, he took part as the fourth official in a qualification match for the FIFA World Cup and in 2012, he was selected to referee the final of the domestic League Cup and the Men’s Tournament at the 2012 London Olympics. The following year, he refereed the Community Shield, won by Manchester United, and in 2014 the UEFA Super Cup, won by Real Madrid.
This year he was appointed referee for the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Crystal Palace, the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, and the UEFA Euro 2016 final between Portugal and France.
The fourth candidate as best referee of the year at Globe Soccer 2016 is the Argentine Nestor Pitana, a referee of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) from 2006. After making his debut in the lower leagues in Argentina, he made his first appearance in the top flight in the match between Colón and Rosario Central in June 2007. From 2010, he has been a FIFA international referee.
During his career, he has refereed numerous games, including a Super final of the Primera División in 2012/2013 and the finals of the Recopa Sudamericana in 2012 and the Coppa Libertadores in 2013. He was officially selected in 2014 to referee at the 2014 Brazil World Cup, at which he officiated at four games, including the quarterfinal between France and Germany. In the current year, he was appointed to referee one of the semifinals of the Men’s tournament at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
JOEL ANTONIO AGUILAR
The fifth and final candidate for the best referee of the year award is Joel Antonio Aguilar, a referee from El Salvador, who officiates for the Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). In 2001, aged just 26, he obtained recognition from FIFA as an international referee and over the years he has refereed at several very important competitions.
He has taken part in five editions of the Gold Cup (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015). In 2011, he also refereed one of the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League and the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. In the same year, he was chosen to referee one of the two semifinals of the FIFA Club World Cup 2011 in Japan. In 2013, besides the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, he also refereed two matches in the group stage of the Confederations Cup in Brazil.
In 2014, he was selected for the Brazil World Cup and the following year for the Coppa America 2015 in Chile. In July 2015, he was again appointed to the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and for the semifinal of the 2015 Club World Cup.
This year, he was selected to referee a match in the group stage and one semifinal of the Copa América Centenario, the edition of the Copa América that was held in the USA for the centenary of the competition.