Jose Mourinho blasts FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards

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Jose Mourinho blasts FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards as being all about clubs’ corporate image despite Tottenham’s Son Heung-min being nominated for the Puskas best goal award
FIFA has announced shortlists for its The Best awards for players and managers
Tottenham forward Son Heung-min’s goal against Burnley up for Puskas Award
But his manager Jose Mourinho dismissed FIFA’s annual awards on Wednesday
Mourinho claimed people in the game work behind the scenes to be recognised

Jose Mourinho has dismissed FIFA’s annual awards for the world’s top footballers and coaches as a power game between clubs overly-concerned about their corporate image.

FIFA’s shortlist for the men’s player of the year includes four stars from the Premier League – Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool, and Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City – but not Tottenham’s in-form stars Harry Kane and Heung-min Son.

This year’s men’s coach of the year award, won by Mourinho in 2010 when he won the Champions League with Inter Milan, features Jurgen Klopp and Marcelo Bielsa on the five-man shortlist.

‘I don’t want to say it’s politics,’ said the Spurs boss. ‘I have a good relationship with FIFA and UEFA, and with people there.

‘But I want to say it has a lot to do with certain club power in the media. It has to do a lot with the people that cares more about it and works better behind the scenes to try to get in there so I don’t give much credit to it.’

Son has been nominated for the Puskas Award, the best goal, for his solo effort against Burnley last December.

Mourinho is preparing for a Europa League tie against Ludogorets of Bulgaria on Thursday and has ruled Toby Alderweireld out of action for up to four weeks, after a muscle injury he picked up against Manchester City on Saturday.

‘Bad news because he was playing his best football,’ said Mourinho. ‘He is an important player we will miss. But the injury is not as big as we immediately thought. I would say between two and four weeks.’

Alderweireld’s absence leaves Tottenham short of central defenders against Ludogorets.

Joe Rodon, signed from Swansea in October, is not eligible for the Europa League but will be available against Chelsea on Sunday.

The Chelsea game looms large but Mourinho urged his players to look no further than the Ludogorets tie.

‘If we don’t take it seriously we know what is going to happen because it happened to us in Antwerp,’ he said. ‘It’s a dangerous group, it’s a group where you will need a lot of points to qualify.

‘It’s not one of these groups were sometimes eight or nine points is enough to qualify.

So we need results, we have three more matches to play, and if possible tomorrow we need three points.’

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