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Ranieri up for FIFA coach of the year gong

dpa logodpa 2/12/2016 John Bagratuni

After steering Leicester City to their first English Premier League title, manager Claudio Ranieri is on the shortlist for FIFA's coach of the year award.

Claudio Ranieri, manager of surprise English Premier League champions Leicester City, has made the shortlist for soccer's best coach of the year award alongside Euro 2016 winner Fernando Santos of Portugal and Zinedine Zidane who coached Real Madrid to UEFA Champions League glory.

The three-man shortlist was published on Friday by the ruling body FIFA, with the winner to be named at a ceremony on January 9.

Ranieri led Leicester to their first-ever national title in 2015/16, after the team had only barely avoided relegation the previous season. The title is considered a modern football fairytale.

Santos meanwhile guided Portugal to their first international title at Euro 2016, beating hosts France 1-0 after extra time in the final. Cristiano Ronaldo's team had a slow start into the event and did not win a game in 90 minutes until the semi-finals.

The Frenchman Zidane was named Real coach in January in succession of Rafael Benitez after previously being in charge of the club's reserve team. He led The Whites to an 11th Champions Cup/League title, on penalties against cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid.

The women's coach shortlist consists of German Silvia Neid, who won the award twice before and stepped down after Olympic gold in Rio; US coach Jill Ellis who won the award in 2015; and 2012 winner Pia Sundhage who guided Sweden team to Olympic silver.

The other shortlists, including for best male player, were to be released later on Friday.

Now separated again from the Ballon d'Or award, the FIFA Best award winners are chosen through a combined voting process based on the choices of national team captains and coaches, an online public ballot and media votes.

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