Linus Hallenius, Caroline Seger and Pia Sundhage all received nominations for year-end awards from the Federation of International Football Associations, or FIFA.
Hellenius, a midfielder for Superettan side Hammarby, is up for the Puskas Award, which FIFA gives to the best goal of the year. The young Swede is up for the award for his volley blast against Syrianska in a June 20 Hammarby victory. The nomination means FIFA already considers the goal one of the 10 best in the world.
Seger, who left Sweden to play for the Philadelphia Freedom in the U.S., is up for the Women’s Player of the Year. The captain of the Swedish national team had a solid year in America and helped lead Sweden into the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She is up against Camille Abily of France, Germans Fatmire Bajramaj and Birgit Prinz, So Yun Ji of South Korea), Englishwoman Kelly Smith, Canadian Christine Sinclair, Americans Hope Solo and Abby Wambach and four-time winner Marta of Brazil.
Sundhage is up for the FIFA Female Coach of the Year award. She took over as head coach of the U.S. national team following its poor performance in the 2007 World Cup and led the Yanks to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. Since then, she has turned the American side into a juggernaut once more. The U.S. is currently the top-ranked national team in women’s football.
FIFA announced the nominations Oct. 25. The annual FIFA awards ceremony is set for Jan. 10 in Geneva.
by Chipp Reid