The Best FIFA Football Awards™ 2021 ceremony, held as a virtual TV show from the Home of FIFA in Zurich, crowned two household names, Alexia Putellas and Robert Lewandowski, as the outstanding players in women’s and men’s football respectively.
Poland and FC Bayern München striker Lewandowski was recognised as The Best FIFA Men’s Player for the second year in succession. For her part, Spain midfielder Putellas, who had made The Best FIFA Women’s Player shortlist for the first time, capped her exploits with FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team by winning the prestigious award.
Chelsea FC Women manager Emma Hayes was voted The Best FIFA Women’s Coach for the first time in her career, a feat that was matched by her Chelsea FC counterpart, Thomas Tuchel, who topped the poll for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach.
Senegal shot-stopper Édouard Mendy made it a hat-trick for the London club by being chosen as The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper, becoming the first African to win the accolade, while Chile and Olympique Lyonnais’ Christiane Endler was named The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper on the strength of her sensational displays.
The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony also recognised two outstanding performances on the international stage, where landmark goalscoring records have been broken. Christine Sinclair, with 188 goals in 308 caps for Canada, received The Best FIFA Special Award for women’s football, and Cristiano Ronaldo, with 115 goals in 184 appearances for Portugal, received The Best FIFA Special Award for men’s football.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino presented the awards to Christine Sinclair (virtual) and Cristiano Ronaldo (in person) during The Best FIFA Football Awards 2021 ceremony at the Home of FIFA in Zurich.
Thousands of football players from around the world cast their votes for this year’s FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 and FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11 selections:
FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11:
• Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain)
• Defenders: David Alaba (FC Bayern München/Real Madrid CF), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus FC) and Rúben Dias (Manchester City FC)
• Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City FC), Jorginho (Chelsea FC) and N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea FC)
• Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus FC/Manchester United FC), Erling Haaland (BV Borussia 09 Dortmund), Robert Lewandowski (FC Bayern München) and Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain)
FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World11:
• Goalkeeper: Christiane Endler (Paris Saint-Germain/Olympique Lyonnais)
• Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea FC Women), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City WFC), Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea FC Women) and Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais)
• Midfielders: Estefanía Banini (Levante UD/Atlético de Madrid Femenino), Barbara Bonansea (Juventus FC Women) and Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC)
• Forwards: Marta (Orlando Pride), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal WFC) and Alex Morgan (Tottenham Hotspur FC Women/Orlando Pride/San Diego Wave FC)
The Other Awards
• FIFA Puskás Award: Érik Lamela (ARG) – Arsenal FC v. Tottenham Hotspur FC [Premier League] (14 March 2021)
Erik Lamela – who departed Tottenham Hotspur FC for Sevilla FC in July 2021 – got the nod for his outrageous goal in the north London derby in March 2021. This is the second straight FIFA Puskás Award to be won for a goal scored in a Tottenham shirt, after Son Heung-Min claimed the prize for his strike against Burnley FC last time round.
• FIFA Fan Award: Denmark and Finland fans
As the crowd waited for news on Christian Eriksen’s health following his collapse during a group-stage match at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium during UEFA EURO 2020, fans of both teams banded together in an emotional tribute. Finnish fans chanted “Christian!” while Danish supporters responded with “Eriksen”.
• FIFA Fair Play Award: Denmark national team/Danish medical team and coaching staff
The Danish men’s national team medical team, coaching staff and players responded heroically after Christian Eriksen collapsed during Denmark’s match against Finland at UEFA EURO 2020, respectively giving him immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), forming a circle to shield him from cameras and comforting his wife and family.