15 December 2012

Zambia Is World 2nd Best

REIGNING African champions, Zambia have been voted the second best team in the world, according to an influential World Soccer magazine.

However, Chipolopolo coach, Herve Renard finished sixth on the Coach-of-the-Year award won by Spanish manager, Vicente Del Bosque who was followed by Real Madrid trainer, Jose Mourinho.

According to the results released posted on www.worldsoccer.com yesterday, the Chipolopolo were pipped to the global top slot by reigning World and European champions, Spain, who were the overwhelming choice as 2012 World Team-of-the-Year.

Spain got 47.36 per cent of the vote cast by World Soccer magazine readers and an independent panel of experts.

Zambia beat UEFA Champions League holders, Chelsea and Italian champions, Juventus for the second position after receiving 8.52 per cent of the votes.

In fifth place was Europa League Cup champions, Atletico Madrid with German Bundesliga winners, Borussia Dortmund coming out sixth, while South American giants, Corinthians of Brazil were seventh.

Chile's Universidad, Spanish giants, Barcelona and French champions, Montpellier were eighth, ninth and 10th respectively. For the 2012 World Coach-of-the-Year, Del Bosque got 28.49 per cent of the vote to emerge winner, while Mourinho was second on 12.27 per cent.

Former Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo was third with Dortmund trainer, Jurgen Klopp and Atletico Madrid's Argentine legend, Diego Simeone following in that order.

Renard, who guided Zambia to a historic 2012 Africa Cup of Nations triumph, received 6.83 per cent of the votes and was trailed by Atletico Bilbao's Marcelo Bielsa, Tite of Corinthians, former Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola and Mexico's 2012 Olympic Games-winning coach Luis Tena.

Zambia and Renard are also in the running for the Confederation of African Football annual awards whose winners will be announced on December 20 in Accra, Ghana.

And Argentine Lionel Messi won the World Player-of-the-year award after collecting more than twice as many votes as his nearest rivals, Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and clubmate, Andres Iniesta.

Italian veteran Andreas Pirlo and Colombian star Rademel Falcao. settling for fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

Brazilian, Neymar was sixth ahead of Spanish goalkeeper, Iker Casillas with teammate, Xavi Hernandez, Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba and Eden Hazard of Belgium.

This year, for the first time in the 30-year history of the awards, the votes from readers were combined with those from an independent panel of experts.

The final votes were weighted to ensure 50 per cent for the reader votes and 50 per cent for those from the panel.

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