Ange Postecoglou and four Matildas players honoured with 'FIFA Best' nominations

A number of Australians have been recognised for their exploits in world football.

Ange Postecoglou, Sam Kerr, Mackenazie Arnold, Mary Fowler and Caitlin Foord.

Australia's meteoric rise in world football has seen new Tottenham coach Ange Postecoglou, Matildas mentor Tony Gustavsson and four Matildas players nominated in FIFA's prestigious annual 'Best' awards. Postecoglou, Gustavsson, Sam Kerr, Mary Fowler, Caitlin Foord and Mackenzie Arnold were all honoured in the awards' shortlists released on Friday.

Kerr, Foord and Fowler are among 16 nominees for Best FIFA Women's Player, while Arnold is one of seven players up for the Best Women's Goalkeeper award. Gustavsson, who led the Matildas to the semi-finals of last month's World Cup (the best result by an Aussie team ever) is one of five in line for the Best Women's Coach.

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Postecoglou has been spectacular in his first few games as the first Australian manager in charge of a Premier League side at Spurs. The Aussie completed a domestic trophy 'treble' with Scottish champions Celtic last season, and finds himself in an elite group alongside fellow men's coach nominees including Manchester City's treble winner Pep Guardiola.

Jenni Hermoso, the Spanish World Cup winner at the centre of scandal after Luis Rubiales' unwanted kiss on stage after the World Cup final, is among the nominees for top women's player - alongside Spanish teammates Aitana Bonmati and Salma Paralluelo. Bonmati is favourite to add the award to the UEFA gong she recently won ahead of Kerr.

Kerr and Matildas teammate Hayley Raso were also recently nominated for the most prestigious individual honour in football - the Ballon d'Or. The Aussies are among a 30-strong list of nominees to lift the Ballon d'Or Feminin, with Kerr in the frame after winning the English League and Cup double at Chelsea and leading her country to the World Cup semis.

Sam Kerr, Mary Fowler and Hayley Raso, pictured here in action for the Matildas.
Sam Kerr, Mary Fowler and Hayley Raso in action for the Matildas at the Women's World Cup. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

A notable omission in the nominees for top women's coach is Spanish World Cup winner Jorge Vilda, who was sacked last week by the Spanish federation. Vilda has a close ally of Rubiales, who resigned from his role as Spanish federation chief earlier this week. Dozens of women's players had previously said they wouldn't play for the Spanish national team until there changes were made to the regime.

Champions League winners Manchester City lead the nominations for best male player, with six of the 12 nominees including superstar striker Erling Haaland. Last year's winner Lionel Messi is also on the list, despite his recent move to Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.

Best Women's Player nominees:

Best Men's Player:

Best Women's Coach:

  • Peter Gerhardsson (Sweden)

  • Jonatan Giraldez (Spain)

  • Tony Gustavsson (Sweden)

  • Emma Hayes (England)

  • Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands)

Best Men's Coach:

  • Pep Guardiola (Spain)

  • Simone Inzaghi (Italy)

  • Ange Postecoglou (Australia)

  • Luciano Spalletti (Italy)

  • Xavi (Spain)

Best Women's Goalkeeper:

with AAP

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