PARIS: World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez (pic), Yassine Bounou of Morocco and Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois were nominated on Wednesday for the top goalkeeping prize at the FIFA Best awards.
Martinez shone at the World Cup, playing a starring role in the penalty shootout as his country defeated France.
He also, however, courted controversy by making an obscene gesture during the trophy ceremony when he received his prize for the best goalkeeper at the tournament.
Bounou featured for a defensively mean Morocco as they became the first African country to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup.
Belgium may had endured a poor World Cup where they were eliminated in the group stage but Courtois had already been one of the architects of Real Madrid’s 14th Champions League triumph.
In the women’s category, the three goalkeepers nominated were Germany’s Ann-Katrin Berger, Mary Earps of England and Chile’s Christiane Endler.
The finalists for the best male and female player awards, as well as the Puskas award for the best goal, will be announced on Friday.
Nominees for best coach will be revealed on Thursday.
The FIFA awards ceremony will take place in Paris on February 27. – AFP