Matildas coach shortlisted for FIFA award

Australian Alen Stajcic has been nominated for FIFA's best coach award

Australian women's mentor Alen Stajcic has been shortlisted to win the FIFA award for best coach in women's football.

The Matildas reached an all time high ranking under Stajcic at the end of 2017, rising to No.4 in the world off the back of a string of strong results.

They enjoyed two victories against Brazil and also lost the final of the Asian Cup to Japan during the voting period from August 7 2017 to May 24 2018.

The Matildas are currently ranked eighth in the world.

There are four women's nominations for the award including Sarina Wiegman, the 2017 winner who coaches the Netherlands, and Asako Takakura, who coached Japan to the Women's Asian Cup title.

The male candidates include Reynald Pedros, who led Lyon to a Women's Champions League and French league double, and Brazil's Vadao, whose team won the Copa America Femenina.

Meanwhile for football coaches in the men's game, Didier Deschamps and Zinedine Zidane head the 11 candidates in a likely French domination of the award.

Deschamps led France to win the World Cup, and his 1998 World Cup-winning teammate Zidane coached Real Madrid to a third straight Champions League title.

Zidane, who has since left Madrid, won the FIFA award last year and was also runner-up in 2016.

FIFA published the choices of its expert panel on Tuesday with five World Cup coaches among the contenders.

They include all four semifinalists - Deschamps, Zlatko Dalic of Croatia, Roberto Martinez of Belgium, and Gareth Southgate of England - plus Russia's Stanislav Cherchesov.

Pep Guardiola is nominated for leading Manchester City to a runaway English Premier League title win. Guardiola won the 2011 FIFA award when coaching Barcelona.

The other nominees are: Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus), Juergen Klopp (Liverpool), Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid), Ernesto Valverde (Barcelona).

FIFA will later publish candidate lists for the men's and women's best player awards.

The winners announced in London on September 24 are voted by national coaches and captains, plus media from FIFA's 211 member countries, and fans voting online.