Bayern Munich’s record-setting Polish footballer Robert Lewandowski has retained the top men’s player title at FIFA’s The Best Awards 2021 ceremony while Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas collected the award for best women’s player.
Thirty-three-year-old Lewandowski set a Bundesliga goal record last season, and edged Argentine Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain and Egyptian Mohamed Salah of Liverpool for the award.
He scored a total of 48 goals for his club and country in 2020-2021.
“I’m happy and honoured to win this award, and I feel very proud,” said Lewandowski on Monday.
Lewandowski scored three times for Bayern at the weekend, taking his current season tally to 39 goals in 33 matches.
The trophy was some consolation for the Polish striker who lost out to Messi for the Ballon d’Or in November last year.
For Putellas, it marked an awards double as the Spaniard triumphed over Barcelona teammate Jennifer Hermoso and Chelsea’s Australian striker Sam Kerr, just as she did for the Ballon d’Or.
The 27-year-old midfielder enjoyed an exceptional 2020-2021 season with Barcelona, leading the Catalans to the Spanish league and cup double as well as the Champions League.
“This trophy is for everyone in the team,” Putellas said. “The trophy will be an inspiration for us all.”
Special award for Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo won the Special Award in recognition of setting a record of most international goals scored for his country, beating Ali Daei’s longstanding mark of 109 for Iran.
The 36-year-old now has 115 goals from 184 games with Portugal after making his debut aged 18 back in 2003.
“I never expected to beat this record, and I thank my teammates from these past 20 years,” said Ronaldo, who also holds the record for 140 Champions League goals.
Chelsea’s Senegalese stopper Edouard Mendy and Christiane Endler of Lyon won the goalkeeping awards.
Chelsea picked up both coaching awards through Thomas Tuchel and Emma Hayes.
Erik Lamela, now of Sevilla, won the best goal award for his trick rabona shot for Spurs in the North London derby.
The medical staff and players of Denmark, who had to deal with player Christian Eriksen’s collapse on the field at the Euro won the “fair-play” award.