Bayern's Robert Lewandowski attacks with the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between 1.FC Cologne and Bayern Munich in Cologne, Germany, Jan 15, 2022. (MARTIN MEISSNER / AP)
LONDON - Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was crowned The Best FIFA Men's Player of Year 2021 on Monday, winning the award for the second year in succession.
The Best FIFA Football Awards 2021 ceremony was held as a virtual TV show from the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland.
Robert Lewandowski, 33, won the most points from coaches, captains as well as media representatives, taking the reward ahead of second-placed Lionel Messi and third-placed Mohamed Salah
Lewandowski, 33, won the most points from coaches, captains as well as media representatives, taking the reward ahead of second-placed Lionel Messi and third-placed Mohamed Salah.
"I think my performances in the last couple of years have developed in the right direction. I'm always delighted to win individual accolades because they're also awards for my team," Lewandowski was quoted by the FIFA website.
Thomas Tuchel was voted The Best FIFA Men's Coach as the German-led Premier League side Chelsea to win the European Champions League last season.
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Senegal was named The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper, becoming the first African to win the accolade.
Cristiano Ronaldo also brought home a reward as the 36-year-old received The Best FIFA Special Award for men's football with 115 goals in 184 appearances for Portugal.
"It was a dream. I never thought about beating that record, of scoring 115," said Ronaldo, who became the highest-scoring male in international football history with 115 goals.
"Even though I'm going to be 37 soon, I feel good, I feel motivated, I have been working hard since I was 18 years old and I continue to," said the Manchester United veteran. "I love the game. I still have that passion. I want to continue."
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In the women's counterparts, Spain and Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas was named The Best FIFA Women's Player for the first time. Chelsea manager Emma Hayes was voted The Best FIFA Women's Coach. Chile and Olympique Lyonnais' Christiane Endler was named The Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper. The Best FIFA Special Award for women's football went to Christine Sinclair with 188 goals in 308 caps for Canada.
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