Former All Whites and Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert has returned to his Cambridge home after a hectic trip to the world’s biggest football awards night in Milan, Italy.
Herbert, the founder of the Ricki Herbert Football Academy, was a guest of FIFA at the world body’s annual Best Football awards.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Herbert. “Many of the world’s greatest players, past and present, were there and it was humbling to be part of it.”
Main photo (above): Herbert with former England international Sol Campbell at the awards.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi won the best men’s player award while United States captain Megan Rapinoe took the best women’s player award.
Herbert was one of a panel of 10 international football experts asked by FIFA to produce the shortlist of contenders for the best men’s player award, from which the winners were chosen by current national coaches and captains. The men’s award has replaced the Ballon d’Or which merged with the FIFA award four years ago.
The shortlist of best men’s players chosen by Herbert and fellow judges included Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane and Liverpool pair Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk.
Other members of the selection panel included former England and Russia manager Fabio Capello, former Brazilian international Kaka, German World Cup winner Lothar Matthäus and Spanish legend Xavi.
Herbert has helped FIFA in a number of roles since stepping down as All Whites coach in 2013.
The following awards were announced at the event:
Men’s Player: Lionel Messi
Women’s Player: Megan Rapinoe
Men’s Coach: Jurgen Klopp
Women’s Coach: Jill Ellis
Women’s Goalkeeper: Alisson
Women’s Goalkeeper: Sari van Veenendaal
Puskás Award: Daniel Zsori
Fan Award: Silvia Grecco
Fair Play Award: Marcelo Bielsa
Men’s World 11: Alisson; Matthijs de Ligt, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk; Frenkie de Jong, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi
Women’s World 11: Sari van Veenendaal; Lucy Bronze, Nilla Fischer, Kelley O’Hara, Wendie Renard; Julie Ertz, Amandine Henry, Rose Lavelle; Marta, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe