Finalists for FIFA’s Best Men’s Player award are Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, and Mohamed Saleh. In the women’s category, former Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putelas of Spain has been nominated. The star footballer of Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo, did not make the cut.
Last year’s winner was Lewandowski of Bayern Munich. In the Ballon d’Or voting for 2021, he finished second to Messi. Messi won the Ballon d’Or for the record seventh time. The FIFA awards ceremony will take place virtually on January 17 in Zurich. Messi has six wins and Lewandowski is the defending champion.
This list contains no members of Italy’s European Championship winning team or Chelsea’s Champions League winning team. Ronaldo missed the list for the second time since he was first nominated in 2007. He missed out on the 2010 award list when Messi beat Andre Iniesta and Xavi.
While Ronaldo was in the team, Juventus fell to fourth place in Serie A (Italy’s top domestic league). Portugal, the defending champion, was eliminated in the last 16.
Saleh is back on the list after 2018. He did well for Liverpool. Messi won the Copa America Cup with Argentina during this time. He won his seventh Ballon d’Or last month.
Lewandowski scored 41 goals for Bayern Munich in 2020-21 and 43 goals in 2021.
Putelas, Jennifer Hermoso of Barcelona, and Sam Kerr of Chelsea are all finalists for FIFA’s best female player award. All three received the most votes for the Ballon d’Or. The winner will replace last year’s winner Lucy Bronze from England.
It is decided by the captains and coaches of all national teams around the world, as well as by fans and a few journalists. Voting ended on December 10 last year.
The best male goalkeepers are Manuel Neuer, Gianluigi Donnaramma, and Eduard Mendy. Also nominated for Best Men’s Coach are Roberto Mancini, Thomas Tuchel, and Pep Guardiola. Best female coach will be decided by former Barcelona and England women’s coach Louise Cortes, Chelsea coach Emma Hess, and ex-Netherlands boss Sarina Wigman.