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Sinclair upset Herdman not in running for coaching award

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The Canadian Press
1/5/2013 5:22:41 PM
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Christine Sinclair doesn't have a shot at winning FIFA women's player of the year when the award is handed out Monday in Zurich, but in typical fashion the Canadian soccer star isn't sweating it.

However, Sinclair was thoroughly disappointed to see that her coach, John Herdman, wasn't in the running either.

"It didn't really affect me at all," Sinclair said of the women's award. "I was actually more shocked that John wasn't on the list. I truly thought that he was going to win it -- not only be in the top three, but win it. So that was really surprising."

Sinclair and Herdman partnered to lead Canada to a bronze-medal performance at the 2012 London Olympics, leading a brilliant turnaround for a team that finished last at the women's World Cup only a year earlier in Germany.

The improvement the team made since Herdman took over after the resignation of coach Carolina Morace should have been reason enough to put Herdman in the top three at least, said Sinclair.

American forwards Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan and five-time winner Marta of Brazil are the three finalists up for women's player award after a vote by national team coaches, captains and reporters.

Former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, who won gold London, is favoured to be named best coach of a women's team ahead of Norio Sasaki of Olympic silver-medallist Japan and Bruno Bini of France.

Lionel Messi is the favourite to win the men's Ballon d'Or prize for an unprecedented fourth time. The Barcelona and Argentina forward, who scored 91 goals in 2012, is up against club teammate Andres Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid.

Herdman called Sinclair's omission a "travesty" the day the three finalists were announced in late November.

The 29-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., who won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as The Canadian Press' top female athlete for 2012, led Canada in London in spectacular fashion. She scored an Olympic-record six goals to win the Golden Boot, recording a hat trick in a 4-3 extra-time semifinal loss to the U.S.

The Canadian women also picked up The Canadian Press team of the year honours.

As part of its partnership with the world governing body of soccer, France Football organizes the FIFA Ballon D'Or vote. The finalists were picked from a list of 10 candidates, compiled by the editors of France Football and the Committee for Women's Football and the FIFA Women's World Cup.

Sinclair's money is on Morgan to win the women's award. She's betting on Messi to claim the men's trophy over Ronaldo.

"I don't think there's a comparison between the two," Sinclair said. "I think unfortunately for Ronaldo, he's playing in a time Messi's also playing and I think Messi could go down as the best player ever and what he's done with Barcelona in the past year has been incredible. Just the sheer amount of goals he's scored, he's broken the record ... I can't see him not winning."

Sinclair has been on the shortlist six times in her career, but after an outstanding 2012 this year would have been her best shot at the Ballon d'Or.

Morgan and Wambach are looking to win the women's award for the first time after leading the United States to its third straight Olympic gold medal. Marta is looking for an unprecedented sixth award.

John Herdman Christine Sinclair (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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