FIFA Ballon d’Or: All you need to know

The world’s best football players and coaches will be recognised on 12 January 2015 at the annual FIFA Ballon’ d’Or Gala. While Zurich’s sparkling Kongresshaus can entertain only a limited number of attendees, the awards themselves reflect the voice of the entire globe’s football family.

Representatives from every football nation on earth have played a role in electing 2014’s elite of the game. The three nominees for the FIFA Ballon d’Or – Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Manuel Neuer – were determined after a voting process open to the captains and head coaches of the men’s 209 member associations as well as international media representatives. The same process determined the three nominees for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year – Nadine Kessler, Marta and Abby Wambach – involving the women’s national team captains and coaches as well as representatives of the media.

The procedure was replicated for the coaches’ awards with UEFA Champions League winning coach Carlo Ancelotti, FIFA World Cup™ winning coach Joachim Low and Spanish La Liga winning coach Diego Simeone all nominated for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award. Ralf Kellermann, Maren Meinert and Norio Sasaki are the final nominees for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award.

Meanwhile, the prestigious FIFA Puskás Award, which determines the best goal scored between 3 October 2013 and 26 September 2014, is exclusively based on votes by the public. The final three nominees, which users of and narrowed down from an initial list of ten, are Stephanie Roche’s stunning effort for Peamount United, James Rodriguez’s chest and volley for Colombia against Uruguay and Robin van Persie’s superb diving header against Spain. Anyone in the world is able to vote for the FIFA Puskás Award on or

With plenty of questions surrounding the minutiae of the terms and conditions for these awards, is here to explain the fine print of the most prestigious awards in the world of football.

Who gets to vote for all of these awards?
Voting for the four players and coaches awards is open to national team coaches, national team captains and journalists around the world, who are named on a list compiled by France Football and FIFA. The votes are totted up by an electronic system monitored by a notary public. The coaches, captains and media that vote for the award make three selections, their first, second and third choice for each particular award with five, three and one points awarded for each respectively.  Each award is given to the person who receives the highest weighted percentage of votes, in relation to the other nominees. In the event of a tie, the player or coach with the most ‘five-point’ scores receives the award. To find out how the initial shortlists are drawn up, you can read the rules of allocation in the related items.

What is the deadline for voting?
Coaches, captains and specialist journalists are informed of the deadline when they are invited to vote. The deadline for the 2014 vote was 21 November.

What steps are taken to protect the integrity of the voting results and compliance with the rules of allocation?
FIFA and France Football have appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as independent observers to supervise and monitor the award procedures. PwC records the results and keeps them under lock and key until the evening of the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala.

How does voting for the FIFA Puskás Award work?
The winner of the FIFA Puskás Award is selected by the users of and, who choose their favourite goal from an initial shortlist of ten contenders before the first deadline (on this occasion 1 December 2014). The three goals receiving the most votes then go forward to the final round, when the votes cast by the users of both sites are added to those obtained by each goal in the first round to decide the overall winner. To find out how the initial ten goals are decided upon, you can read the rules of allocation in the related items.

And how is the FIFA FIFpro World XI selected?
Every FIFPro-affiliated player is free to vote for any active professional player in the world to make up their ideal XI in a 4-3-3 formation. FIFpro then counts the votes, with the FIFA FIFpro World XI finally being revealed on the day of the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala.

How are the FIFA Presidential and Fair Play awards chosen?
The winner of the FIFA Presidential Award is decided on by the FIFA President himself, while candidates for the FIFA Fair Play Award are submitted to FIFA by individuals and groups. The submitted nominations for the Award are reviewed and finalised by the FIFA CSR Department according to the Rules of Allocation. The winner is selected by the members of the FIFA Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility.