Robert Lewandowski has seen off Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Lionel Messi to be named the top men’s player at FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards.
The Bayern Munich star retained the award he picked up last year following a prolific 2021 in attack for the Bundesliga giants.
Lewandowski said: ‘Thank you very much. I am very honoured to win this trophy and feel proud. I know it belongs to my team-mates and coaches. We all work hard to win the games. It is special to work with these guys around me.
Robert Lewandowski has retained his award as top men’s player in FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards
Lewandowski saw off competition from Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (left) and Lionel Messi
‘I never dream about breaking this record [of Gerd Muller’s]. To score 41 in 29 games – if you ask me that a few years ago if it is possible I would tell you it is impossible. I also say to him thank-you. He set so many records and to me it was always the next step to try and break it.’
At the event held at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich Switzerland, Chelsea stopper Edouard Mendy won FIFA’s ‘The Best’ goalkeeper prize to be crowned the world’s best shot stopper.
Having won the Champions League with Chelsea last season, Mendy saw off rivals Gianluigi Donnarumma, who won Euro 2020 with Italy, as well as Bayern’s Manuel Neuer.
The Blues success in Europe also ensured Thomas Tuchel picked up the award for best manager.
Chelsea stopper Edouard Mendy won best goalkeeper award at FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards
The Blues also saw Thomas Tuchel win the men’s best coach prize having arrived last year
Mendy and Tuchel were crucial towards helping Chelsea win the Champions League
Tuchel saw off competition from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, who won the Premier League title but lost the Champions League final to the Blues, while Roberto Mancini was also pipped despite his stunning success with Italy at Euro 2020 – beating England in the final.
Tuchel revealed his delight at the award saying: ‘It was a pretty normal day so far at training. I have just come here. But now you have said my name and it is pretty surreal. I am overwhelmed and a bit uncomfortable.
‘I enjoy the journey and the club. It is a good fit. The company on the journey is so good. We lost a bit of track to Manchester City in the league but we follow our goals still and be the best version of ourselves.’
It was double success for Chelsea with Emma Hayes earning the award for best women’s coach
It was double success for Chelsea in the best manager award with Emma Hayes winning best women’s coach.
Hayes, 45, guided the Blues to Women’s Super League and League Cup glory last season and steered the London side to the Champions League final.
She was named WSL manager of the season for her feats and was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours for services to football.
Erik Lamela’s stunning rabona goal for Tottenham earned the best goal of the year award
Lamela’s strike against Arsenal earned the now Sevilla forward the top prize at the FIFA awards
Meanwhile, Erik Lamela picked up the Puskas award for best goal following his incredible Rabona strike for Tottenham Hotspur against Arsenal in the north London derby last season at the Emirates Stadium.
Lamela, who has since moved to Sevilla, saw off strong competition from Czech Republic’s Patrik Schick who had scored an incredible 45-yard strike at Euro 2020 against Scotland at Hampden Park as well as Mehdi Taremi bicycle kick for Porto against Chelsea last April in the Champions League.
‘To be fair, I never practice this in training. It is something that comes in one second.’, Lamela said after earning the award.
There was even more success for Chelsea in the men’s best XI award, with Jorginho and Kante featuring, along with Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester City pair Kevin de Bruyne and Ruben Dias.
FIFA’S ‘THE BEST’ AWARDS 2022
Best men’s player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland)
Best women’s player: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona and Spain)
Best men’s coach: Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)
Best women’s coach: Emma Hayes (Chelsea)
Best men’s goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea and Senegal)
Best women’s goalkeeper: Christiane Endler (Lyon and Chile)
Best men’s special award: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Juventus and Portugal)
Best women’s special award: Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns and Canada)
Puskas Award: Erik Lamela (Arsenal vs TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR)
Fan award: Denmark and Finland fans
Fair Play Award: Denmark national team/Danish medical team and coaching staff
FIFPRO men’s world XI:
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain)
Defenders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich,Real Madrid), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus) and Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Jorginho (Chelsea) and N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus,Manchester United), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) and Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain)
FIFPRO women’s world XI:
Goalkeeper: Christiane Endler (Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon)
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea) and Wendie Renard (Lyon)
Midfielders: Estefania Banini (Levante, Atletico Madrid), Barbara Bonansea (Juventus) and Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham)
Forwards: Marta (Orlando Pride), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), and Alex Morgan (Tottenham Hotspur, Orlando Pride, San Diego Wave)
Lionel Messi also squeezed into a team which lined up in a 3-3-4 formation and also included Donnarumma, David Alaba, Leonardo Bonucci, Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski.
Ronaldo though did pick up one personal prize, with his record 115 international goals being recognised in a special award to round off the ceremony.
The Portugal star, who picked up the award in person, said: ‘It is a dream. First of all, I have to say thank you to my team-mates in the national team in the last 20 years that I used to play with.
Cristiano Ronaldo picked up a special award after scoring a record 115 goals for Portugal
The Manchester United star was present in Zurich, Switzerland to collect his prize
‘The record was 109, right? So six ahead. I am so proud. It is a special award from Fifa – an organisation I respect a lot. I also have to thank my family. Soon I will be a father again. I am proud. It is great to be the goalscorer of all time.
‘I still have the passion for the game and to score goals. I play football since I was five years old. When I go to the pitch, even in training, my motivation is still there. Even 37 soon, I feel good. I keep working hard. I love the game and have the passion. I want to continue. I hope to play maybe four or five years, It is all mental. If you treat your body good, when you need it it will give back.’
Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas pipped her team-mate Jenni Hermoso and Chelsea’s Sam Kerr to claim the women’s prize for best overall player, while Chile’s Christiane Endler, who joined Lyon from Paris St Germain in June 2021, was named women’s goalkeeper of the year.
Source: Daily Mail