Monday, 17th of January was earmarked as the date for FIFA’s The Best Awards 2021, one of football’s most prestigious events. The stars didn’t come out to play as it was a virtual event. They still received their awards for a phenomenal year.
Denmark’s Medical team & players won the FIFA Fair Play Award after their heroic display to save Christian Eriksen’s life at Euro 2021. Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper Christiane Endler was named the best women’s goalkeeper while Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy took home the men’s prize. The Senegalese shot-stopper who is away at AFCON 2021 had a phenomenal 2021. In 50 games, he kept 29 clean sheets and conceded only 27 goals. He won the UEFA Champions League goalkeeper of the season award too.
Erik Lamela’s outrageous rabona goal against Arsenal won the Puskas Award for Best Goal of the Year. Chelsea did a clean sweep in the gaffer section. Thomas Tuchel and Emma Hayes picked up the Best Coach of the year awards for men and women, respectively. Emma Hayes won a domestic treble with the Chelsea women in 2021, and they reached the UEFA Champions League final, which they lost to Barcelona Femeni. Astonishingly, she won the award over Lluis Cortes, who beat her 4-0 in the UCL final. Tuchel won the UEFA Champions League and the Super up. He also reached the FA Cup final that they lost to Leicester City. The German tactician beat out Pep Guardiola of Manchester City and Roberto Mancini of Italy.
Robert Lewandowski beat out Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah to the best men’s player award, while Alexia Putellas won the women’s award. Messi beat Lewandowski to the Ballon d’OR award late last year. Confusingly, despite being voted the best women’s player, she was not voted into the best women’s XI. Salah, who finished third in the best men’s player award, cannot find a place in the World XI.
Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the FIFA Special Award for breaking the men’s all-time goalscoring record.
Men’s world 11; Gianluigi Donnarumma, Ruben Dias, David Alaba, Leonardo Bonucci, N’golo Kante, Jorginho, Kevin de Bruyne, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Cristiano Ronaldo
Women’s world 11; Christiane Endler, Magdalena Eriksson, Wendie Renard, Lucy Bronze, Millie Bright, Barbara Bonansea, Carli Lloyd, Estefania Banini, Marta, Vivianne Miedema, Alex Moragn
FIFA did not include a single Barca Femeni player in their XI despite them winning the domestic treble. Not even Alexia Putellas made the cut.