Date: 4th December 2016 at 8:57pm
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Experts from the FIFA Football Committee have now made their final three man shortlist for the FIFA Coach of the Year award for 2016.

Tagged ‘The Best FIFA Men’s Coach 2016’ award, the winner will be selected through a combined voting process, which will see 50% of the votes awarded based on the choice of all captains and head coaches of national teams across the planet we call Earth, and the remaining 50% of the votes will be split between an online ballot of fans and also submissions from a select group of over 200 media representatives across the six continents.

The original 10 man shortlist previously released has now been whittled down to the final three contenders for the 2016 prize and the winner will be announced at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony at the Zurich TPC studios on January 9, 2017 – along with FIFA’s other awards categories for the last campaign.

The final three for the award and FIFA’s blurb on them is as follows:

Claudio Ranieri (Leicester City)

‘Claudio Ranieri achieved the seemingly impossible with Leicester City. The Foxes were ranked 5000/1 by some bookmakers to win the 2015/16 English Premier League title when the Italian first took charge in July 2015 – the same odds as Elvis Presley being found alive and conclusive proof of the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. While it seemed that staving off relegation was the best Leicester could hope for before the campaign began, Ranieri would go on to inspire his charges, instilling an unrivalled team spirit as Leicester went on to incredibly win the Premier League against all odds, and claim the club`s first-ever top-flight title in their 132-year history.’

Fernando Santos (Portugal)

‘An electrical and telecommunications engineer by trade, Fernando Santos earned a place in footballing history by steering Portugal to their first major title at UEFA EURO 2016. In getting the most out of a side built around its undisputed leader in Cristiano Ronaldo, Santos applied his philosophy of “strength and unity”, instilling genuine team spirit among his players. Tactically astute and methodical in his approach, Santos fashioned a tightly knit side that proved solid in defence and lethal up front. With his substitutes playing just as crucial a role in Portugal`s success as his first-choice players, Santos once again displayed his game management skills and an innate ability to deploy his players in response to the situation.’

Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)

‘In his first season as a Real Madrid player, Zinedine Zidane delivered the club’s ninth UEFA Champions League title. His maiden campaign in the Bernabeu dugout was no less momentous, as he led the Merengues to European Cup number 11 and became just the seventh man to win the competition as both a player and a coach. After being appointed to replace Rafael Benitez in January 2016, the Frenchman promptly set about turning around the fortunes of a team that had looked destined for another trophyless season. He may have fallen just short of overhauling Barcelona in the league, despite victory in El Clasico, but he more than made up for that by guiding his side to European glory.’

In alphabetical order (and no great surprise based on 2015/16 achievements) the initial 10 man shortlist and those who miss out this year, are as follows:

Chris Coleman (Wales/Welsh national team)
Didier Deschamps (France/French national team)
Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Bayern Munich/Manchester City)
Jurgen Klopp (Germany/Liverpool)
Luis Enrique (Spain/FC Barcelona)
Mauricio Pochettino (Argentina/Tottenham Hotspur)
Claudio Ranieri (Italy/Leicester City)
Fernando Santos (Portugal/Portuguese national team)
Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atlético Madrid)
Zinedine Zidane (France/Real Madrid)

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