Fifa repackaged their World Player of the Year awards when changing it to “The Best” in 2016.
The upcoming virtual ceremony will be the sixth year of this current format from the sport’s governing body, with the top two awards being given to the best men’s and women’s player in 2021.
Both awards have been narrowed down to a final three, so too the other categories; best goal (Puskas Award), best coach (men’s and women’s) and best goalkeeper (men’s and women’s).
Fifa also give out a fair play award, and one for supporters, with these two prizes likely going to Denmark and their fans following the response to Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.
As well as these nine awards, the men’s and women’s Fifa FIFPro World XIs will also be named.
When are The Best winners announced?
The virtual awards ceremony will take place on 17 January, and will be broadcast live from Fifa’s HQ in Zurich.
Timings and stream details are TBC, but Fifa’s social channels will likely broadcast the event, as well as fifa.com.
The Best Fifa Men’s Player shortlist
Robert Lewandowski – Won The Best award in 2020, but missed out on the 2021 Ballon d’Or to Lionel Messi. Lewandowski scored 69 goals in 55 games in 2021, with the Bayern Munich striker breaking Gerd Muller’s record for the most goals in a Bundesliga season when netting 41 times in just 29 games.
Lionel Messi – Picked up his seventh Ballon d’Or back in November, with his 2021 largely remembered for a Copa America win with Argentina in the summer, before he moved from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.
Mohamed Salah – Arguably the standout Premier League player of the 2021-22 season so far, currently topping both the goals and assists charts, while seven goals in the Champions League group stages helped Liverpool become the first English side to win all six group games.
Who votes for The Best?
Per Fifa, the men’s and women’s winners for the best player, coach and goalkeeper are selected by an international jury comprising of the current coaches of all national teams (one per team), the current captains of all national teams (one per team), one specialist journalist from each territory represented by a national team and fans from all over the world registered on Fifa.com
The Best Fifa Women’s Player shortlist
Jennifer Hermoso – Finished second in the Ballon d’Or behind Barcelona team-mate Alexia Putellas back in November. Hermoso was crucial to Barcelona’s treble-winning feats last season, and she ended 2021 with 51 goals in the calendar year.
Sam Kerr – Third in the Ballon d’Or two months ago, Kerr continues to dazzle for Chelsea, maintaining her rate of roughly a goal per game this season after helping her side win the domestic treble – which culminated with Kerr scoring twice in the FA Cup final in December – as well as reaching the Champions League final.
Alexia Putellas – No doubt the frontrunner again after winning the Ballon d’Or, Putellas helped Barcelona win the treble in 2021, a year where she also became Spain’s most-capped female player and took the club armband from the departing captain Vicky Losada.
Who could win best goal in Fifa Puskas Award?
Erik Lamela – Goal for Tottenham against Arsenal in the Premier League on 14 March 2021.
Patrik Schick – Goal for Czech Republic against Scotland in the Euro 2020 group stages on 14 June 2021.
Mehdi Taremi – Goal for Porto against Chelsea in the Champions League on 13 April 2021.
Other Fifa awards on offer
The Best Fifa Men’s Coach
- Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
- Roberto Mancini (Italian national team)
- Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea FC)
The Best Fifa Women’s Coach
- Lluís Cortés (FC Barcelona)
- Emma Hayes (Chelsea FC Women)
- Sarina Wiegman (Dutch national team / English national team)
The Best Fifa Men’s Goalkeeper
- Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy / AC Milan / Paris Saint-Germain)
- Édouard Mendy (Senegal / Chelsea FC)
- Manuel Neuer (Germany / FC Bayern München)
The Best Fifa Women’s Goalkeeper
- Ann-Katrin Berger (Germany / Chelsea FC)
- Christiane Endler (Chile / Paris Saint-Germain / Olympique Lyonnais)
- Stephanie Lynn Marie Labbé (Canada / FC Rosengård / Paris Saint-Germain)
Fifa Fair Play Award
Denmark national team, medics and coaching staff – For response to Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest.
Claudio Ranieri – For being “a gentleman through and through who always conducts himself impeccably”.
Scott Brown – For his gesture when seeking out Glen Kamara before the Old Firm derby against Rangers after the midfielder was racially abused earlier that week.
Fifa Fan Award
Descriptions per Fifa – Vote here
Denmark and Finland fans – As the UEFA EURO 2020 crowd waited for news on Christian Eriksen’s health, fans from both teams banded together in an emotional tribute. Finnish fans chanted “Christian!” and Danish supporters responded with “Eriksen”.
German football fans – After devastating floods killed over 170 people and left more than 150 missing, fans of clubs came together to raise aid in the form of money, food and other supplies.
Imogen Papworth-Heidel – The 11-year-old who organised a 7.1 million keepy-uppy challenge to raise money for the UK’s key workers.
Men’s World XI shortlist
Goalkeepers: Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain), Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
Defenders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich/Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Dani Alves (Sao Paulo/Barcelona), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Jorginho (Chelsea), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Manchester United), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan/Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
Women’s World XI shortlist
Goalkeepers: Laura Benkarth (Bayern Munich), Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea), Christiane Endler (Paris Saint-Germain/Lyon)
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Kadeisha Buchanan (Lyon), Ellie Carpenter (Lyon), Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea), Irene Paredes (Barcelona), Wendie Renard (Lyon)
Midfielders: Estefania Banini (Levante/Atletico Madrid), Barbara Bonansea (Juventus), Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona), Delphine Cascarino (Lyon), Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham), Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)
Forwards: Pernille Harder (Chelsea), Sam Kerr (Chelsea), Marta (Orlando Pride), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Alex Morgan (Tottenham Hotspur/Orlando Pride/San Diego Wave), Gabrielle Onguene (CSKA Moscow), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)