Football News

The Best FIFA Awards voting system explained and how to vote

By Ben Green

Fifa Best Awards voting system explained and how to vote

Published: 18:16, 11 November 2021

Immediate focus may be on football’s most-coveted accolade, the Ballon d’Or, but FIFA’s annual award ceremony is fast approaching, and anticipation is already building as to who will win 2021’s Best Men’s Player.

The current holder of the award is Robert Lewandowski, who clinched last year’s gong after helping Bayern Munich win the 2019/20 Champions League as the competition’s top goalscorer and top assist provider.

But, The Best FIFA Awards do not just commemorate the Best Men’s Player. Other honours include the Best Women’s Player (currently held by England and Manchester City right-back Lucy Bronze), the Puskas Award for best goal of the year, the Fair Play Award, the Best Men’s and Women’s Coach and the Fan Award among others.

With fans given a voice in the voting process, you will have a chance to make your opinion heard once the polls open. So, for all the details on how the voting system works, when it opens, and general information about the ceremony (like date and location) read on below.

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How the voting system works

Unlike its more esteemed cousin the Ballon d’Or, the Best Awards involve fans in the voting process, “incorporating the views of the four pillars of the footballing world” according to FIFA’s official website. 

Those “four pillars” are the fans (as mentioned), the coaches of all the national teams around the world, the captains of said nations, and submissions from a select group of more than 300 media representatives.

The voting percentage of each “pillar” varies between awards. In previous iterations, the Puskas Award (for example) was voted for solely by the public, but since 2018 it has been decided by a select group of pundits, who vote on the top three goals chosen by the fans.

For The Best FIFA Men’s Player, the voting is split identically four ways, with media representatives, national team coaches, national team captains and fans getting a 25% say. The latter joining the voting process in 2016.

The public also have the opportunity to cast their votes for The Best FIFA Women’s Player, The Best FIFA Men’s and Women’s Coach and The Best Men’s and Women’s Goalkeeper awards.

Public voting typically takes place on with each individual entitled to make one vote for each category. The voting process to determine 2021’s nominees will start on November 22 and end on December 10 this year.

When will The Best FIFA Awards 2021 take place and where is the ceremony held?

Despite the ceremony typically taking place in the autumn months, 2021’s version will be held on Monday January 17, 2022

Due to ongoing public health measures, 2021’s iteration will be a virtual event held from the FIFAs headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

Where can I watch The Best FIFA Awards 2021?

With the event being held as a virtual TV show at the home of FIFA, football’s governing body will stream The Best Awards across its various social media channels. Those include the official website, FIFA’s YouTube channel, FIFATV, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Previous winners of The Best Men’s Player and Best Women’s Player

Formerly known as the FIFA World Player of the Year after its inception in 1991, the award was rebranded to The Best FIFA Player in 2016 and has hence been claimed five times since its rejig in the middle of last decade. Below are the previous winners of each award.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player

Year Player Club
2016 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
2017 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
2018 Luka Modric Real Madrid
2019 Lionel Messi Barcelona
2020 Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich

The Best FIFA Women’s Player

Year Player Club
2016 Carli Lloyd Houston Dash
2017 Lieke Martens Rosengard/Barcelona
2018 Marta Orlando Pride
2019 Megan Rapinoe Reign FC
2020 Lucy Bronze Lyon/Manchester City

The award list in full

  • The Best FIFA Women’s Player
  • The Best FIFA Men’s Player
  • The Best FIFA Women’s Coach
  • The Best FIFA Men’s Coach
  • The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper
  • The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper
  • FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11
  • FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11
  • FIFA Fair Play Award
  • FIFA Puskás Award (awarded for the best goal of the year)
  • FIFA Fan Award

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