The final installment of the football awards season takes place at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Monday with FIFA’s The Best awards. The Ballon d’Or, the Globe Soccer awards and the UEFA player awards all took place in recent months.
The men’s and women’s Player of the Year awards will be handed out, and the top coaches (men’s & women’s), best goalkeepers (men’s & women’s) and most spectacular goal will also be recognized. The player, coach and goalkeeper awards are all intended to honor achievements from Oct. 8, 2020 through Aug. 7, 2021.
All eyes will be on Robert Lewandowski and whether he can finally come away with an award that recognizes his specacular 2021 campaign. Bayern Munich’s Polish forward lost out on both the Ballon d’Or to Lionel Messi and the Globe Soccer Award to Kylian Mbappe.
Lewandowski might have a better shot at this award since the main FIFA awards are voted on by: 1) current national team coaches (one per national team); 2) the current captain of every national team (one per team); 3) one specialist journalist from each territory; and 4) fans registered on FIFA.com. Each of the four groups of votes carries the same weight (25 percent each).
Canadian star and the world’s all-time leading international goal scorer Christine Sinclair won the FIFA Lifetime Achievement Award.
How to watch FIFA 2022 The Best Awards
FIFA’s The Best awards will be broadcast by beIN Sports in the USA and Canada, but the broadcasts will be tape delayed until the evening.
To watch the event live, FIFA’s YouTube channel is one option as are beIN Sports Connect and the Telemundo Deportes app.
FIFA Player of the Year (Men’s)
|Robert Lewandowski||FW||Bayern Munich||Poland|
FIFA Player of the Year (Women’s)
|Jennifer Hermoso||FW||FC Barcelona||Spain|
|Alexia Putellas||MF||FC Barcelona||Spain|
FIFA Puskas Award
Since 2009, FIFA awarded the Puskas Award for the most “aesthetically pleasing goal, regardless of competition” and “without the result of luck or a mistake.” It’s named after the Hungarian player Ferenc Puskas, who was known for his spectacular tallies at Real Madrid.
A list of 11 candidates is first drawn up by an expert panel and the winner is voted on by FIFA legends and fans around the world via FIFA.com. Votes from the two groups (legends and fans) carry the same weight: 50 percent each.
Here are the three finalists. Click on the player’s name to watch the goal (geographic restrictions permitting).
|Erik Lamela||Tottenham Hotspur||at Arsenal||March 14, 2021||Premier League|
|Patrik Schick||Czech Republic||vs. Scotland||June 14, 2021||Euro 2021|
|Mehdi Taremi||FC Porto||at Chelsea||April 13, 2021||UEFA Champions League|
FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year (Men’s)
- Winner: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea / Senegal)
This could be seen as an upset win for Mendy after Gigi Donnarumma won both the Yashin Trophy for goalkeeper of the year at the Ballon d’Or and the Globe Soccer top goalkeeper honor. Donnarumma stood on his head as Italy won Euro 2021.
Mendy previously captured Europe’s UEFA Champions League goalkeeper of the season honor for helping Chelsea win the continental title.
|Manuel Neuer||GK||Bayern Munich||Germany|
FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year (Women’s)
- Winner: Christiane Endler (Olympique Lyon / Chile)
Endler won it for the first time in three tries, beating out Canada’s Stephanie Labbe who played a huge part in helping Canada to Olympic gold.
“I’m the first one in Latin America to win this prize and it’s an honor for me,” Endler said. “It’s the third time I’m here. I was awaiting all the time to win it, and finally it’s the right time. Thank you to everyone who voted for me. I cannot be more proud.”
There was no Goalkeeper of the Year award for women as part of the Ballon d’Or or at Globe Soccer in Dubai, so this will be the primary global recognition for 2021. Barcelona’s Sandra Panos, who is not a finalist for the FIFA award, won the UEFA Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year award for European football.
|Christiane Endler||GK||Olympique Lyon||Chile|
FIFA Coach of the Year (Men’s)
Italy’s Roberto Mancini won the Globe Soccer award and Thomas Tuchel won the UEFA men’s coach of the year in Europe. So might this be an opportunity for Pep Guardiola to claim an honor for a spectacular season with Manchester City?
|Pep Guardiola||Manchester City||50||English Premier League champion
English League Cup winner
UEFA Champions League finalist
FA Cup semi-finalist
|Roberto Mancini||Italy||57||UEFA Euro 2021 winner
UEFA Nations League semifinalist
37-match record unbeaten streak
|Thomas Tuchel||Chelsea||48||UEFA Champions League winner
FA Cup finalist
FIFA Coach of the Year (Women’s)
This is probably a formality after Lluis Cortes won the three major trophies in the 2021 season with FC Barcelona. He also won the UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year.
|Lluis Cortes||FC Barcelona
|35||Primera Division champions
Copa de la Reina winner
UEFA Champions League winner
Supercopa Femenina semi-finalist
|Emma Hayes||Chelsea||45||Women’s Super League champions
Women’s FA Cup winner
Women’s League Cup winner
Women’s Community Shield winner
UEFA Champions League finalist
|52||6W-2L-2D with Netherlands in 2021
2021 Olympic quarterfinals
43 goals scored in 11 matches
FIFA Fan Award
This FIFA award has been around since 2016 and as the name suggests, it recognizes fans for an exceptional moment or gesture. This honor for the fans is voted on by the fans. Here are the three finalists:
Denmark and Finland fans at Parken Stadium: for their shows of support in the wake of Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest episode at Euro 2021.
German football supporters: Supporters groups around Germany mobilized to help local communities after devastating floods that claimed more than 170 lives. Borussia Dortmund and FC Koln fans were among the fans that stepped up to collect money and other donations.
Imogen Papworth-Heidel: The 11-year-old girl who created a keepy-uppy challenge to raise money for essential workers in the UK during the pandemic. She did over a million of them herself.
FIFA Fair Play Award
There are three finalists for this award, which recognizes gestures of sportsmanship, fairness and other good deeds around the sport. But it’s highly unlikely that Denmark’s men’s national team doesn’t take it this year.
Here are the three finalists:
Scott Brown: The Aberdeen player/coach was a member of Celtic when before a rivalry match against Rangers, he went out of his way to shake Glen Kamara’s hand in the wake of a racist incident Kamara experienced in European competition.
Denmark national team (players and staff): The Danish men’s team is up for the award for its collective response to the Christian Eriksen cardiac arrest at Euro 2021.
Claudio Ranieri: The current Watford coach is a candidate for having his Sampdoria team give Inter Milan the guard of honor in recognition of their clinching the Italian Serie A title.