FIFA awards: Lewandowski, Putellas win top honors; Lamela claims Puskas
World football's top players and managers of 2021 were recognized at The Best FIFA Football Awards show Monday. Below, theScore runs down the winners of the various trophies.
Best Men's Player
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, Poland national team)
He may have missed out on the Ballon d'Or in contentious fashion, but Lewandowski owns FIFA's top individual accolade. The Bayern Munich striker captured The Best FIFA Men's Player award for the second successive year, beating out Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah. The prolific Lewandowski broke multiple Bundesliga scoring records in 2021, eclipsing the legendary Gerd Muller for goals in both a single campaign and a calendar year.
Best Women's Player
Alexia Putellas (Barcelona, Spain national team)
Putellas has now won every imaginable accolade. She's UEFA's women's midfielder of the year and player of the year, the reigning women's Ballon d'Or winner, and now, the Best FIFA Women's Player. It's richly deserved, too. The 27-year-old recorded 27 goals and 19 assists for Barcelona in 2020-21, leading them to the women's La Liga and Champions League titles. Putellas' most impressive feat came in September when she completed a hat-trick in just four minutes.
Puskas Award winner
Erik Lamela - Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal (March 14, 2021)
Lamela stunned the world with an outrageous rabona in the north London derby - his second such feat for Tottenham Hotspur. Already named the goal of the season in the Premier League, the Argentine's spontaneous strike has now rightly received global recognition.
Best Men's Coach
Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)
Tuchel masterminded a complete turnaround at Chelsea, taking the Blues from 10th in the Premier League to the summit of European football within five months of his appointment last January. The German tactician won plaudits for the way he organized Chelsea, and his defense-first tactics paid dividends in the Champions League final as the west London side beat Manchester City to claim its second European Cup.
Best Women's Coach
Emma Hayes (Chelsea)
A sweep of the coaching prizes for Chelsea. Hayes was speechless Monday when she was named this year's winner. The longtime Chelsea coach shouldn't have been, though, after leading her side to a domestic treble in 2020-21. In capturing the Women's Super League, FA Cup, and League Cup crowns, the 45-year-old tactician became the first Chelsea manager to win all three domestic titles in the same season.
Best Men's Goalkeeper
Edouard Mendy (Chelsea, Senegal national team)
Mendy has been vital to Chelsea's success since joining the club in 2020, solidifying what had been a problematic position for the Blues. The Senegalese shot-stopper backstopped Chelsea to the Champions League title in 2021 and finished the calendar year with more clean sheets (29) than goals conceded (27). After his shocking omission from the Ballon d'Or shortlist, the 29-year-old's spectacular season has finally garnered the respect it deserves.
Best Women's Goalkeeper
Christiane Endler (Lyon, Chile national team)
After finishing second in each of the last two years - to Sari van Veenendaal in 2019 and Sarah Bouhaddi in 2020 - Endler finally landed the award on her third try. The Chilean netminder backstopped Paris Saint-Germain to the Division 1 Feminine title last season, posting 19 clean sheets while allowing just four goals over the entire campaign.
Men's FIFA FIFPro World11
Gianluigi Donnarumma; David Alaba, Leonardo Bonucci, Ruben Dias; N'Golo Kante, Jorginho, Kevin De Bruyne; Cristiano Ronaldo, Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi
Women's FIFA FIFPro World11
Christiane Endler; Lucy Bronze, Wendie Renard, Millie Bright, Magdalena Eriksson; Estefania Banini, Carli Lloyd, Barbara Bonansea; Vivianne Miedema, Marta, Alex Morgan
FIFA Fair Play Award
Denmark national team, medics, and coaching staff
This was never in doubt. The Danish national team, medics, and coaching staff were collectively bestowed the Fair Play Award in recognition of their heroic, life-saving efforts when Christian Eriksen went into cardiac arrest at Euro 2020. Everyone involved - from captain Simon Kjaer to team doctor Morten Boesen - helped resuscitate the star midfielder, avoiding a potentially devastating outcome after Eriksen collapsed during Denmark's opening match at the tournament.