Zurich, Switzerland (Sports Network) - At the FIFA World Player Gala in Madrid on December 17, in addition to honoring the three top male and female players of the year, FIFA will once again recognize the outstanding achievements of national teams in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
This year’s FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking team awards go to World Champions Brazil (Team of the Year) and Senegal (Mover of the Year) -- one of the surprise packages at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
As well as winning this year’s FIFA World Cup, the Seleçao have also regained top spot in the world ranking from France and built a clear lead ahead of the chasing pack. Brazil were also named Team of the Year from 1994 to 1999.
Meanwhile, the West Africans, who made it to the last eight at the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals, thus propelling them into the world’s top 30 teams, have gained no less than 100 points (and 40 ranking places) in the last year -- more than any other team at this level. Senegal are the third African winners of the FIFA Mover of the Year title, after South Africa in 1996 and Nigeria in 1999.
The gala will also see the presentation of the FIFA Fair Play Award. This year, the prize will be shared by the football communities of Korea and Japan. With their infectious exuberance, abundant enthusiasm, warm hospitality and above all their extremely fair and amicable conduct, the football fans of the two host nations played a pivotal role in the overwhelming success of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
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