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Conte, Kante, Hazard, Hayes pipped to FIFA The Best 2017 awards

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Chelsea v Watford - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Chelsea had four nominees in total for this season’s FIFA The Best awards, their version of the Ballon d’Or. Neither Antonio Conte (The Best FIFA Men’s Coach), nor Emma Hayes (The Best FIAF Women’s Coach), nor Eden Hazard or N’Golo Kante (The Best FIFA Men’s Player) came close to winning, which is probably not surprising. It is an honor just to be nominated and recognized as one of the best in the sport. Hazard and Kante were also overlooked for the FIFPro World XI in favor of various Real Madrid and Barcelona players, as usual.

Conte was one of the three finalists for the Men’s Coach award, but lost out to Zinedine Zidane, who won both the Spanish league and Champions League double, in the process becoming the first team in the modern era to defend their Champions League title.

Hayes lost out to Euro 2017-winning Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman, while The Best Men’s Player award went to Cristiano Ronaldo. Until he and Messi retire, no one else is winning this award.

Other award-winners on the night included Gianluigi Buffon as The Best Goalkeeper and Olivier Giroud as the scorer of the greatest goal of the year. The FIFA Fan Award went to Celtic supporters while the Fair Play trophy was given to Francis Kone who literally saved another player’s life in the Czech league.