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FIFA Best Awards 2021 Winners List: Chelsea dominate as Lewandowski scoops top men's prize

Robert Lewandowski

Bengaluru, January 18: The FIFA Best Awards were conducted at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich on Monday (January 17), with Chelsea taking three prizes and Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski winning the men's FIFA Best award for the second year running.

While Lewandowski and Alexia Putellas, who won the women's Ballon d'Or last year, took home the prizes for Best Men's and Women's player respectively, the Blues had winners in the form of Thomas Tuchel, Emma Hayes and Edouard Mendy.

Tuchel, who guided Chelsea to Champions League success last season, scooped the Best Men's Coach award, while Hayes was named Best Women's Coach.

Hayes' team won the Women's FA Cup and Premier League in 2020-21, while also finishing as runners-up in the Women's Champions League to Barcelona, who Putellas plays for.

Mendy, meanwhile, won the Best Men's Goalkeeper award. However, he did not make the Men's XI, with Italy and Paris Saint-Germain shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma preferred.

Tuchel's triumph also means that a German coach has won the Men's award for the last three years, after Jurgen Klopp in 2020 and 2019.

The Denmark national team won the Fair Play Award for their actions in helping to save Christian Eriksen's life after the midfielder collapsed on the pitch in Copenhagen at Euro 2020.

Erik Lamela won the Puskas Award for his incredible rabona finish in the north London derby.

Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, was given a Special Award for his career achievements.

Lewandowski deserves it

For the men's FIFA Best award, Lewandowski beat fellow nominees Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah to the award, having also won it the last time it was up for grabs in December 2020.

Alongside the legendary Johan Cruyff, Lewandowski is the only male football player to have won a treble of a national title, national cup and Champions League, while also becoming top scorer in all competitions.

Outstanding is just one of the words that can be used to describe what Lewandowski has achieved in the Bundesliga and Champions League in recent years.

The Bayern Munich striker scored 58 goals in 47 games in all competitions in 2021, which included breaking two long-standing records previously held by the legendary German striker Gerd Muller. He bagged 41 goals in a single Bundesliga season for Bayern, and 43 Bundesliga goals in a calendar year.

The Pole has scored 34 goals in 27 games so far this season, including nine in the Champions League group stage

"I would be delighted if he won it, it would certainly be well deserved," said Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann after the Cologne game, in which Lewandowski became only the second ever player to reach 300 Bundesliga goals - after the great Müller.

"It's not just his goals though; he also works really hard and is always in the right position," Nagelsmann continued. "One of his great qualities is that he also starts a lot of attacks before sprinting into the box to wait for a cross or a pass."

Bayern captain Manuel Neuer said "we're happy and grateful that he plays for us. He is a machine in the box, he holds the ball up brilliantly and his finishing is unique."

FIFA Best Awards 2021 winners:

Best Men's Player: Robert Lewandowski

Best Men's Coach: Thomas Tuchel

Best Men's Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy

Best Women's Player: Alexia Putellas

Best Women's Coach: Emma Hayes

Best Women's Goalkeeper: Christiane Endler

FIFA Fair Play Award: Denmark men's national team

Puskas Award: Erik Lamela

FIFA Fan Award: Denmark and Finland fans

FIFA Special Award: Cristiano Ronaldo

FIFA Special Award: Christine Sinclair

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 2:20 [IST]
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