Dubai: Globe Soccer, the UAE-based organisers of the prestigious Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, on Tuesday confirmed plans to expand the concept internationally with five new ceremonies across four continents in 2024.
Billed as the ‘Road to Dubai,’ the new Globe Soccer Intercontinental Series will feature a quintet of standalone award editions covering Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East next year, with specific details of each territory’s seasonal awards set to be revealed in coming months.
The winners of each of the continental main awards — for example Best Men’s Player, Best Women’s Player, Best Club, Best Agent — will automatically qualify as finalists for the annual Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, in partnership with Dubai Sports Council.
Uniting football world
“For 13 years, the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards has helped bring the football world to the emirate,” said Tommaso Bendoni, the founder and CEO of Globe Soccer, which is headquartered in Dubai. “In recent years, we have seen huge growth in terms of the number of awards, and also the number of fan votes and media coverage. We believe now is the time for us to take the show — and Dubai — to the world.
“The Intercontinental Series will provide greater opportunities for those operating in global football, as well as allowing us to engage with even more fans. The year-long ‘Road to Dubai’ programme has been designed to ensure the ultimate focus remains on the emirate, while also enabling us to recognise clubs, players, coaches and managers, agents, directors, scouts, and other stakeholders from every corner of the world.”
An annual celebration of the beautiful game, the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards provides a voice to worldwide football fans, who vote to shortlist players, coaches, clubs and more. Since the inaugural event in 2010, the number of awards distributed has increased from three to 21, with recent additions including the Power Horse Emerging Player of the Year, Best Youth Team, and Best Transfer Deal. Last year, more than 33 million fan votes decided the shortlisted nominees, before a judging panel of experts crowned Karim Benzema and Alexia Putellas as the Best Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year, respectively.
Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, said: “We are proud of our partnership with the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards. This partnership commenced with the inauguration of the event as a significant occasion rooted in Dubai, but with global reach. Today, it has become one of the most prestigious events in world football, serving as a gathering for football stars and decision-makers.
“The new ‘Road to Dubai’ awards format enables us to acknowledge and honour a greater number of stars from various continents, thus highlighting their achievements. Moreover, it offers the winners a chance to take part in the main ceremony in Dubai. This development aligns with the award’s growth, evolution, international reputation, and influence in global football.”
Ferran Soriano, the CEO of European champions Manchester City and the City Football Group, sits on the event’s judging panel. Soriano believes having the winners of the five new standalone events automatically shortlisted for the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards will provide timely recognition of talents operating in regions often neglected by such awards and organisations.
“The Globe Soccer Intercontinental Series will recognise all manner of professionals working in the game, including those operating in underrepresented regions,” said Soriano. “As CEO of City Football Group, which operates in a range of international markets from Uruguay to China, I have seen first-hand the wealth of talent working in football around the world. In acknowledging the work of these people and providing them the chance to travel to Dubai and network within the industry, Globe Soccer can directly and significantly benefit the careers of these people and, indirectly, further globalisation of the game.”
Previous attendees at the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards read like an elite gathering of the world’s most prominent football stars, from Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, and Robert Lewandowksi to Pep Guardiola, Zinedine Zidane, Jose Mourinho, and the late Diego Maradona.