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Fifa Best 2021 LIVE: Robert Lewandowski wins men’s player of the year as Alexia Putellas scoops women’s prize

Live updates, nominees and winners from Fifa’s top awards ceremony

Sarah Rendell
Monday 17 January 2022 22:00
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Messi announces retirement

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski won the men’s player award for the second year running.

The 33-year-old Poland international set a new record for most Bundesliga goals in a calendar year with his 43rd goal in December, breaking the record set by Gerd Muller in 1972. Lewandowski, winner of the men’s award in 2020, also became the first player in Bundesliga history to finish top scorer in four consecutive seasons.

Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas was named women’s player of the year, adding the accolade to her Ballon d’Or triumph. Putellas, 27, captained Barcelona to the treble, with the Catalan side winning the Women’s Champions League, Spanish league and Copa de la Reina last term.

Follow for live updates and reaction from the ceremony:

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Lewandowski on breaking Muller’s record

The ceremony paid tribute to Gerd Muller, who sadly died in August, and after Robert Lewandowski won the men’s payer of the year he paid tribute to him.

The striker broke his record for the most goals in a Bundesliga season which contributed to him winning the gong.

He said: “I never dreamed of breaking this record - to score 41 goals in 29 games. If you asked me a few years ago I would have said it is impossible to score so many goals in Bundesliga. Now he [Muller] is not with us anymore, I want to say thank you to him - the next step was to try and break that record.”

Read the full story:

Robert Lewandowski wins Fifa Best Award 2021 for second year in a row

Lewandowski defends his Fifa Best title after finishing runner-up to Lionel Messi at the 2021 Ballon d’Or awards

Sarah Rendell17 January 2022 22:00
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Why were there four forwards in men’s World XI?

Some people were thrown that four strikers were selected for the men’s World XI. Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland were all named which was a bit rogue.

The players vote for the World XI and so Fifa and Fifpro do not select the team. Journalist Rik Sharma explains: “the goalkeeper, as well as the three defenders, three midfielders and three forwards who received the most votes will be selected for the World 11.

“The remaining spot will be assigned to the outfield player with the next highest number of votes who is not selected already.”

However some fans are surprised Ronaldo was selected over the like of Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema.

Sarah Rendell17 January 2022 21:45
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Lamela wins Puskas award

Erik Lamela said he didn’t think before hitting the ball to score his rabona against Arsenal in 2021. The stunning strike saw him win the Puskas award, meaning a Tottenham goal won the gong for the second year in a row

He said: “Honestly in that moment I didn’t think too much. I didn’t really how special the goal was.

“To be fair I never practice this shot during training. It comes in a second, finding the best way to shoot.”

Read the full story:

Erik Lamela wins Puskas Award for stunning rabona goal against Arsenal

The former Spurs forward beat competition from Patrick Schick and Mehdi Taremi to win goal of the year

Sarah Rendell17 January 2022 21:30
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A recap of all the awards

A lot of awards were handed out this evening and the debates are still rumbling on social media. But in case you missed the ceremony, here is a full list of all the winners:

Special award: Christine Sinclair

Special award: Cristiano Ronaldo

Men’s player of the year: Robert Lewandowski

Women’s player of the year: Alexia Putellas

Women’s coach: Emma Hayes

Men’s coach: Thomas Tuchel

The women’s world XI is: Christiane Endler; Lucy Bronze, Wendy Renard, Millie Bright, Magdalena Eriksson; Estefania Banini, Carli Lloyd, Barbara Bonansea; Vivianne Miedema, Marta, Alex Morgan

The men’s world XI is: Gianluigi Donnarumma; David Alaba, Ruben Dias, Leonardo Bonucci; Jorginho, N’Golo Konte, Kevin de Bruyne; Cristiano Ronaldo, Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi

Best fans: Denmark and Finland fans

Fair Play: Denmark’s medical team and players

Puskas: Erik Lamela

Men’s goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy

Women’s goalkeeper: Christiane Endler

Sarah Rendell17 January 2022 21:15
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Hayes “stunned” to win

Emma Hayes won the women’s coach award at the ceremony and looked shocked to have claimed the award.

Hayes led Chelsea to the domestic treble last season and they reached their first Champions League final.

She said upon winning: “Honestly I’m not usually stunned! The fantastic people that represent my work, ultimately a coach is only as good as the people around them.

“Everybody in the country [England] are building towards this moment [Euro 2022]. Let’s hope the crowds are big.”

Sarah Rendell17 January 2022 21:00
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Sinclair wants to “continue the fight"

Christine Sinclair broke the record for most international goals in 2021 when she scored her 185th for Canada. The star is now on 188 with the total only growing.

She won a Special Award for the achievement at the ceremony this evening and said she wants to continue the fight for women’s football.

“To be able to inspire young girls to pursue their dreams is pretty cool,” she said. “I would like to take this time to thank Fifa for this recognition. I’d like to acknowledge my family.

“For my parents constant support, my brother for tolerating me! I’ve always wanted to be him. What truly matters most is the experiences I have had. To all my teammates and staff members along the way.

“The thing I’m most proud of was being in the sport where their was limited support to now. I want to say women’s football, female athletes, have often been an after thought and my goal now is to continue the fight.”

Sarah Rendell17 January 2022 20:51
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Lewandowski on Muller

The ceremony paid tribute to Gerd Muller, who sadly died in August, and after Robert Lewandowski won the men’s payer of the year he paid tribute to him.

The striker broke his record for the most goals in a Bundesliga season which contributed to him winning the gong.

He said: “I never dreamed of breaking this record - to score 41 goals in 29 games. If you asked me a few years ago I would have said it is impossible to score so many goals in Bundesliga. Now he [Muller] is not with us anymore, I want to say thank you to him - the next step was to try and break that record.”

Read the full story:

Robert Lewandowski wins Fifa Best Award 2021 for second year in a row

Lewandowski defends his Fifa Best title after finishing runner-up to Lionel Messi at the 2021 Ballon d’Or awards

Sarah Rendell17 January 2022 20:42
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Best goalkeepers revealed

Edouard Mendy won the men’s goalkeeper award but wasn’t included in the men’s World XI. Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma was part of the team for his efforts at Euro 2020 where he saved three penalties to defeat England in the final.

However, Mendy was named the men’s keeper for his spectacular saves at club level where he helped Chelsea win the Champions League.

Both keepers were celebrated but some raised an eyebrow at the lack of consistency.

Sarah Rendell17 January 2022 20:33
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Putellas adds to Ballon d’Or success

Alexia Putellas has won the 2021 Best Fifa Women’s Player award to complete a double of major individual honours following her victory at the Ballon d’Or last month.

The Barcelona captain saw off competition from teammate Jennifer Hermoso and Chelsea striker Sam Kerr to win the award at a ceremony in Zurich on Monday night.

She becomes the first Spanish player to win the award after playing a key role in Barcelona’s dominant treble-winning campaign, which saw the club lift the Women’s Champions League as well as the Primera División and Copa de la Reina.

Full story:

Alexia Putellas wins Fifa Best Award 2021 to add to Ballon d’Or success

The Barcelona captain becomes the first Spanish player to win the award after beating teammate Jennifer Hermoso and Chelsea striker Sam Kerr to the prize

Sarah Rendell17 January 2022 20:22
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Lamela: I didn’t think before rabona goal

Eric Lamela said he didn’t think before hitting the ball to score his rabona against Arsenal in 2021. The stunning strike saw him win the Puskas award, meaning a Tottenham goal won the gong for the second year in a row

He said: “Honestly in that moment I didn’t think too much. I didn’t really how special the goal was.

“To be fair I never practice this shot during training. It comes in a second, finding the best way to shoot.”

Read the full story:

Erik Lamela wins Puskas Award for stunning rabona goal against Arsenal

The former Spurs forward beat competition from Patrick Schick and Mehdi Taremi to win goal of the year

Sarah Rendell17 January 2022 20:12

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