UEFA rewards excellence and achievement within European football with a series of awards in various sectors.
The most prestigious of these awards is the UEFA President's Award, which recognises outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities. Great players such as Alfredo Di Stéfano, Sir Bobby Charlton, Raymond Kopa, Gianni Rivera, Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff and Josef Masopust – European Footballers of the Year one and all – have won the award in recent years.
The UEFA Best Player in Europe Award was created in partnership with European Sports Media (ESM). It recognises the best player, irrespective of nationality, playing for a club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the past season.
Players are judged by their performances during the campaign in all competitions, both domestic and international, and at club and national team levels, by a jury of renowned sports journalists representing each of the UEFA member national associations.
With women's football progressing apace, UEFA has introduced the Best Women's Player in Europe Award to accompany the men's prize. For the inaugural award, players were judged by their performances during the 2012/13 campaign in all competitions, both domestic and international, and at club and national team levels.
Nominees were drawn from shortlists provided by the coaches of all 12 UEFA Women's EURO 2013 final tournament contenders and of the eight 2012/13 UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finalists. The voting jury for the accolade was composed of 18 journalists, each committed to women's football, and selected by ESM.
Since September 2011, UEFA has presented a special award comprising a commemorative cap and medal for those players who have appeared 100 times or more for their country.
Developing the game
UEFA's close relationship with its 54 national associations sees the European body bestow awards on associations for outstanding work.
The UEFA HatTrick Awards are presented each year and are open to all of the 54 UEFA member associations. Five award areas have been drawn up: Best Investment Project; Best Social Project; Best Grassroots Project; Best Women's Football Development Project; and Best Special Project. Criteria include mid to long-term legacy, the impact of football's development in the country and the impact on specific social target groups.
Marketing is an essential component in football, and UEFA recognises associations' marketing prowess through the annual KISS Marketing Awards – staged under the auspices of UEFA's Knowledge & Information Sharing Scenario (KISS). Award categories are Best Digital Fan Engagement Campaign; Best Fan Experiential Campaign; Best Sponsorship Activation; Best Brand Strategy and Implementation Campaign; and Best Grassroots Marketing Campaign. Awards for creativity and innovation are also given in each category.
Another crucial area of football is the game's grassroots – without a solid foundation, football cannot flourish. Football is available for everyone, and much sterling work is being undertaken in countries throughout Europe. Excellence in this crucial sector is recognised by the UEFA Grassroots Week Awards. The awards are part of the UEFA Grassroots Week activities which take place across Europe. UEFA rewards the winners with gold, silver and bronze prizes in three key areas – best leader, best project and best grassroots club.
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