Football News

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2021: Odds, shortlists, favourites and past winners

By Harry Edwards

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2021: Odds, shortlists, favourites and past winners

Published: 16:34, 17 January 2022

We’ve already had the Ballon d’Or, now get ready for FIFA’s Best Football Awards, with the ceremony taking place on Monday night.

The candidates for six different individual awards were announced back in November, including The Best Men’s and Women’s Players, with the initial shortlists containing 11 and 13 names respectively.  

Those now been whittled down to just three apiece: Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah for The Best FIFA Men’s Player, and Jennifer Hermoso, Sam Kerr and Alexia Putellas for The Best FIFA Women’s Player.

Read on for more information on the 2021 The Best FIFA Football awards, including shortlists, odds and previous winners.


More on The Best FIFA Awards

What you need to know about The Best FIFA Awards
Quiz: The Best Fifa Men’s Player 


The Best FIFA Men’s Award: Latest Odds

Player Name Club/National Team Odds*
Lionel Messi Barcelona/PSG/Argentina 5/6
Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich/Poland 11/8
Mohamed Salah Liverpool/Egypt 9/1

*Odds provided by Betfair. Market is not currently live. 18+. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (11:00, 17/01/2022). BeGambleAware.

The Best FIFA Women’s Award

Player Name Club/National Team Odds
Jenni Hermoso Barcelona/Spain TBC
Sam Kerr Chelsea/Australia TBC
Alexia Putellas Barcelona/Spain TBC

The Best FIFA Men’s Coaches Award

Player Name Club/National Team Odds
Pep Guardiola Manchester City TBC
Roberto Mancini Italy TBC
Thomas Tuchel Chelsea TBC

The Best FIFA Women’s Coaches Award

Player Name Club/National Team Odds
Lluis Cortes Barcelona TBC
Emma Hayes Chelsea TBC
Sarina Wiegman Netherlands/England TBC

The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper Award

Player Name Club/National Team Odds
Gianluigi Donnarumma AC Milan/PSG/Italy TBC
Edouard Mendy Chelsea/Senegal TBC
Manuel Neuer Bayern Munich/Germany TBC

The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper Award

Player Name Club/National Team Odds
Ann-Katrin Berger Chelsea/Germany TBC
Christiane Endler PSG/Lyon/Chile TBC
Stephanie Labbe Rosengard/PSG/Canada TBC

What are the FIFA Best Awards and how are they decided?

As far as individual awards go, there are two that will be used to highlight how good a player is or was — the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA Best. While The Best awards do have the backing of football’s governing body, they do still pale in comparison to the history and legacy of the Ballon d’Or which was first awarded in 1956 and is run by France Football.

FIFA had their first foray into the awards show with the FIFA World Player of the Year, first handed out in 1991. FIFA’s World Player of the Year was then merged with the Ballon d’Or between 2010 and 2015, and the conclusion of that partnership brought the birth of The Best.

Voting for the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA Best awards are fairly similar, with journalists, national team coaches and captains all given votes. However, voting for the FIFA Best awards also gives fans a voice, as one of the “four pillars of the footballing world”.

Votes from fans, journalists, national team coaches and captains are all given similar weight, counting 25% each, with the fan vote ending on December 10, 2021.

Who are the previous FIFA Best Men’s Award winners?

Since the inaugural award in 2016, four players have been named The Best FIFA Men’s player. Cristiano Ronaldo was the first and second recipient of the award, winning it in 2016 for his role in Real Madrid’s Champions League victory and Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph — and once again in 2017 as Los Blancos retained the European Cup.

In 2018, the World Cup had a major influence on the award with Luka Modric winning it for his part in helping Croatia reach the World Cup final alongside Real Madrid’s Champions League win, while Lionel Messi scooped the honour in 2019. Last season Robert Lewandowski was named as The Best for his phenomenal season with Bayern Munich in which they won the Treble.

Player Name Club/National Team Year
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid/Portugal 2016
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid/Portugal 2017
Luka Modric Real Madrid/Croatia 2018
Lionel Messi Barcelona/Argentina 2019
Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich/Poland 2020

Who are the previous FIFA Best Women’s Award winners?

Unlike the Men’s award, there has been a different winner every year for The Best Women’s player, with USWNT forward Carli Lloyd scooping the first in 2016. A year later, Lieke Martens won it thanks to her part in Netherlands winning the European Championships before Brazilian legend Marta took the crown in 2018. Megan Rapinoe made all the headlines in 2019 and was named The Best Women’s player as part of the USWNT’s World Cup winning squad. Lucy Bronze is the holder, winning the Champions League with Lyon in a stellar 2020 before moving to Manchester City.

Player Name Club/National Team Year
Carli Lloyd Houston Dash/United States 2016
Lieke Martens Rosengard/Barcelona/Netherlands 2017
Marta Orlando Pride/Brazil 2018
Megan Rapinoe OL Reign/ United States 2019
Lucy Bronze Lyon/Manchester City/England 2020

Who are the previous FIFA Best Men’s Coach Award winners?

Winning the Premier League, Champions League or World Cup has been the criteria for the Best Men’s Coach so far, though Claudio Ranieri picked up the inaugural award more for the miracles he worked at Leicester than the trophy won. In 2017, Zinedine Zidane was named as the Best Men’s Coach for guiding Real Madrid to the Champions League and he was only bettered in 2018 by World Cup winner Didier Deschamps. Jurgen Klopp is the holder, winning in both 2019 and 2020 for victories in the Premier League and Champions League respectively.

Player Name Club/National Team Year
Claudio Ranieri Leicester City 2016
Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid 2017
Didier Deschamps France 2018
Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2019
Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2020

Who are the previous FIFA Best Women’s Coach Award winners?

Like the Men’s award, there is a two-time winner for The Best Women’s Coach in Sarina Wiegman, though she had to wait a few years before reclaiming the gong. Germany manager Silvia Neid was named the inaugural Best Women’s Coach for making Die Nationalelf one of the best teams in the world before Wiegman got her first title as Netherlands won Euro 2017. A year later Reynald Pedros was honoured for his role in Lyon’s European dynasty and Jill Ellis took the crown in 2019 for winning the World Cup. Wiegman got her second award last year for the work she did with the Netherlands in a quiet year for women’s football.

Player Name Club/National Team Year
Silvia Neid Germany 2016
Sarina Wiegman Netherlands 2017
Reynald Pedros Lyon 2018
Jill Ellis United States 2019
Sarina Wiegman Netherlands 2020

When is The Best FIFA Awards and where can I watch the ceremony?

Despite its name, The Best FIFA Awards 2021 will actually take place in 2022.

Monday January 17, 2022 is the date given for the ceremony and due to public health restrictions the event will be held virtually from FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

As the event will be held virtually, FIFA will live stream The Best Awards across its social media channels, including the official website, YouTube channel, FIFATV as well as Facebook and Twitter.

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