As the sun sets on the 2017 Homeless World Cup here in Oslo, we take a look back at all the FIFPro winners from the past eight days.
The award was handed out daily to players who showed exemplary sportsmanship and fair play during their team’s games over the course of the week.
It’s the third consecutive year FIFPro have partnered with the Homeless World Cup, having offered the award previously in Amsterdam and Glasgow.
The first recipient of the award was South Africa’s Mzikayise Depha, while Scotland’s Colleen McCudden picked up the second FIFPro plate.
Day 3 saw Germany goalkeeper Johannes Albert win, with Brazilian stopper Leonel next to get the nod by the match officials.
Johannes added: “Football is everything. There can be fighting, but people come together. Sometimes you cry, but then you shake hands and everything is okay. Sometimes in sport you want more and more, but you have to accept you’re not superman and just keep your feet on the ground.”
Fabian Thyssen was the recipient on Day 6, while the penultimate day saw Greece’s Apostolos Petrifies of Greece win the award.
Having not scored up until Day 6, the Greek player scored twice in quick succession, much to the delight of the coaching team.
After picking up the award from former Norwegian International Erlend Hanstveit, he said: “I felt very happy that I could score and help the team win. I’ve felt a lot of love from all my teammates, and I hope the whole tournament will help me become an even better person.”
The final two FIFPro awards were presented to Belgium’s Dirk Rondas and Sweden’s Maria Berg. The Belgian was nominated for the award on the final day after he gave match referee Luka his jacket after noticing he was cold.
Speaking after receiving the award, Dirk said: “Today is the best day of my life since the birth of my children. I was very sick and I lost everything in my life, but I found a way to fight back because of football.
“When I see someone in trouble or cold, I try to help because I’ve been there. It has already helped change my life, and I want to be able to give something back to the world.”
Swedish goalkeeper Maria picked up the final FIFPro award of the tournament, after offering to step in to play for the men’s side after they suffered a few injuries.
She said: “I feel great. This was the best prize. There is so much love and respect for everyone, and we’re all on the same page here. Football means everything to me. It’s given me a new start in life.”
Words: David Brockett
Images: Romain Kedochim