Paris (AFP) – Bayern Munich’s record-setting striker Robert Lewandowski retained FIFA’s top men’s player title Monday at “The Best” of 2021 ceremony as Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas collected the award for best women’s player.
The 33-year-old Lewandowski, who set a Bundesliga goal record last season, won the trophy for the second time, edging Argentine Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain and Egyptian Mohamed Salah of Liverpool.
“I’m happy and honoured to win this award, and I feel very proud,” said Lewandowski
It was some consolation for the Polish striker who lost out to Messi for the Ballon d’Or in November.
For Putellas, it marked an awards double as the Spaniard triumphed over Barcelona team-mate 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 when she led 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.”
Cristiano Ronaldo won the Special Award for setting a record of most international goals scored for his country, beating Ali Daei’s mark of 109 with Iran.
The 36-year-old Ronaldo now has 115 goals from 184 games with Portugal.
“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 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 Christian Eriksen’s collapse on the field at the Euro won the “fair-play” award.
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