New CNN award will celebrate football players’ work off the pitch at Dubai soccer ceremony



Abu Dhabi, UAE

Just days before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar, neighboring Dubai will celebrate the best players, teams and coaches the beautiful game has to offer at the annual Globe Soccer Awards.

CNN has partnered with the awards, now in its 17th edition, to launch the CNN Off the Pitch category at this year’s ceremony on November 17.

The award will recognize the achievements of an individual, club or other soccer organization for their impact on wider society and culture as well as charitable work.

“I believe it [the award] is extremely important because young people look at you, they try to emulate what you do,” former Real Madrid, Russia and England coach Fabio Capello told CNN’s Becky Anderson.

“Because they live and see themselves through big players and their idols. And their idols must know and understand this.”

Capello is a member of a five-strong jury – consisting of current or former players and coaches – which will decide the nominees before a panel of CNN sports journalists select the winner.

“It’s lucky that our work can influence many people and professions, which are also some of the things that I most like about this sport,” Spanish footballer Alexia Putellas, another of the jurors, told CNN’s Becky Anderson.

“To see how it can change a person’s feelings after seeing a match or see us playing it’s one of the best things that can happen to us as footballers.”

Putellas was one of the winners at the Globe Soccer Awards in 2021, along with Paris Saint-Germain and French forward Kylian Mbappé, FC Barcelona star Robert Lewandowski and Italian coach Roberto Mancini.

The nominees for each of the 2022 award categories, including the CNN Off the Pitch award, will be announced on October 20, when voting for the winners will begin.

Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas poses for pictures ahead of the 2021 Globe Soccer Awards at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

“I have read all the candidates and nominees for this award, but there are a few I [am] much closer to; I felt their willingness to help,” said Capello.

“Their desire to be present, even when they were at the top as football players and coaches.”

Some of the awards up for grabs at the event, hosted by the Dubai Sports Council, include best agent, transfer deal and sporting director.

Also launching in 2022, are the Globe Digital Awards, which will acknowledge creative influencers and eSports gamers.


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