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2021 Player Activism award winner: Morten Thorsby

17 November 2021

Morten Thorsby is the winner of the 2021 Player Activism award, the first of three Merit Awards that FIFPRO will present this week to players who are showing outstanding social engagement.

The Norwegian midfielder of Sampdoria earned his award for raising awareness about minimizing the effects of climate change. Besides the award, Thorsby will receive USD$ 10,000 to help finance his activities.

On Thursday and Friday, FIFPRO will announce the winners of the Player Impact and Player Voice award.

Seven players have been nominated by player unions for the FIFPRO Merit Awards. Ahmed Hassan (Egypt), Yohan Benalouane (Tunisia), Keun-Ho Lee (Republic of Korea), Patrik Le Giang (Slovakia/Vietnam), Marcelo Martins Moreno (Bolivia), Tim Sparv (Finland) and Morten Thorsby (Norway). 

The winning players were picked by a special selection committee, consisting of player union representatives from all four FIFPRO Divisions, former Merit Award winner Haley Carter and Global Player Council member Gabriela Garton, who is also a goalkeeper for Argentina and Melbourne Victory.

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About Morten Thorsby

Morten, who is also a midfielder for the Norwegian national team, has one big goal: restoring the balance with nature. With his foundation We Play Green he is trying to make people aware of how they can contribute to making the environment more sustainable. He believes that with the help of other players he can reach 3.5 billion people in order to minimize the effects of climate change and global warming.

What the jury said:

“Morten is showing he is a true activist, who will take every opportunity to encourage other players and other people to follow his lead. He is not only talking with players and media, but also with companies, politicians and policy makers. Knowing the importance of this topic, it is encouraging to have someone like Morten talking about this.” 

What Morten said:

“It is very surprising. I am very happy of course winning this prize. Looking at the people who before me won this award, I am really proud. These are people who made a great effort, people I look up to. It makes me really motivated and inspired to continue my work for We Play Green, to make sure the planet will live on and will be in good shape for our children and our grandchildren.”