FIFA World Player of the Year is an award football given to the player who was selected as the best in the world by the coach and captain of the international team. This award was awarded in 1991 as an award for the best male player in the world. Elections are made in a voting system based on position voting, each coach has three votes, worth five points, three points and one point, and the winner is determined based on the number of points.
European-based Brazilian players have dominated the award, winning 8 of the 18 awards, the second-most French country, which has won three times. In the case of the number of players who have received awards, Brazil leads with five awards, followed by Italy and Portugal twice.
The youngest winner of this award is Ronaldo, who won it at the age of 20 in 1996. He won it again in 1997 and 2002. Both Ronaldo and Ronaldinho won twice in a row. Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane won this award three times. The oldest winner is Fabio Cannavaro, who was 33 years old when he won this award in 2006. In 2010, the FIFA World Player award and the Ballon d'Or it France Football merged and best male players in the world since it was awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or each year.
An award for female players was added in 2001. Awards for women have fewer individual winners. So far, only five players have won awards. Only 2011 winner Homare Sawa and 2012 winner Abby Wambach won only one award. Marta has won five times in a row, Birgit Prinz has won three times in a row, and Mia Hamm has won twice in a row. The oldest winner is Sawa, who was 33 when he won it in 2011. The youngest winner is Marta, who won in 2006 at the age of 20.
After criticism from several parts of the media for previous years' nominations, in 2004 FIFA compiled a short list of 35 male and 21 female players, in which the national team manager and, for the first time, team captain and representative from FIFPro (professional player organization all over the world) can vote.
Neymar da Silva Santos Junior aka Neymar is a Brazilian football player who usually plays as left winger. In August 2017, he signed a contract until mid-2022 with Paris Saint-Germain, who took over from FC Barcelona. Neymar made his debut in 2010 in the Brazilian national football team. Neymar made his debut in March 2009 in the main force of Santos, where he attended the youth academy since 2003 and extended his commitment in August 2011 until the summer of 2014. In 2011 he won the Bola de Ouro, the prize for best footballer in the Brazilian Série A and the FIFA Puskás Award for scoring the best goal of the past year. In 2011 and 2012, he was voted the best football player in South America, while in 2010, 2011 and 2012 he won the prize of top shooter in the Brazilian league.
N'Golo Kanté is a French footballer of Malian descent who usually plays as the central midfielder. In July 2016, he signed a contract with Chelsea until mid-2021, which paid approximately € 36,000,000 to Leicester City for him. Kanté made his debut on March 25, 2016 in the French national football team, in a friendly game against the Netherlands (2–3 wins). Four days later he made his first international goal, in a friendly match against Russia won 4–2. National coach Didier Deschamps included Kanté on May 12, 2016 in the French selection for the European Championship 2016, domestically. He and his teammates reached the final.