Football News

The Best Fifa football awards: Full list of 2020 winners & who voted for who

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 15:53, 18 December 2020

Robert Lewandowski rounded off a great year by claiming a first Best Fifa Men’s Player award.

The 32-year-old Polish marksman cemented his status as world football’s premier ‘No.9’ in 2020 subsequently helping Bayern Munich win a second treble.

He wasn’t the only winner. Read on to find out the other recipients…


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The Best FIFA Men’s Player

Since the award was established in 2016 after world football’s governing body ended their partnership with France Football (alongside whom they created the Fifa Ballon d’Or) it’s been dominated by the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi axis that claimed three of the opening four prizes. Luka Modrić, following an impressive showing at the last World Cup finals, was the anomaly, but he’s no longer alone as Lewandowski has joined him in this exclusive group.

Having won Uefa’s equivalent honour it was inevitable. Bayern’s serial marksman also became the second player ever to win a European treble while finishing top-scorer in all three competitions (matching Johan Cruyff’s feat in 1971/72 with Ajax). The aforementioned Ronaldo and Messi complete the podium.

Runner-up: Cristiano Ronaldo

Lewandowski Football Index value: £1.85 (Sell) £2.02 (Buy)

Is Messi really anti-Liverpool? How some of football’s international captains voted:

Scrutiny is always applied to how a certain duo voted and this year, despite Ronaldo naming Messi as his second-most impressive player of 2020, the Argentine did not reciprocate. Also under the spotlight was the absence of any Liverpool outfielder on Messi’s Best Men’s Player three-man shortlist, Jurgen Klopp for Best Men’s Coach and Alisson among his Best Men’s Goalkeeper top three.

Messi was on the losing side of Liverpool’s semi-final comeback in the 2019/20 Champions League, during which he called James Milner a ‘burro’ and was shoved in the head by a celebrating Andy Robertson (who later admitted regretting his behaviour).

However, one fact to counter the theory that Messi dislikes Liverpool based on this experience is that he voted for Sadio Mane to win 2019’s Best Men’s Player award.

“It’s a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place [in the Ballon d’Or standings],” Messi told Canal+ Sport Africa after winning last year’s Ballon d’Or.

“But I think there have been a lot of great players this year. That’s why it was difficult to choose a particular player. But I chose Sadio Mane (for The Best award) because he’s a player that I like.

“Mane achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That’s why I chose him.”

Best Men’s Player votes breakdown:

Lionel Messi (Argentina captain): 1. Neymar 2. Kylian Mbappe 3. Robert Lewandowski

Harry Kane (England): 1. Lewandowski 2. Kevin De Bruyne 3. Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): 1. Lewandowski 2. Messi 3. Mbappe

Lewandowski (Poland): 1. Thiago Alcatara 2. Neymar 3. De Bruyne

Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands): 1. Sadio Mane 2. Mohamed Salah 3. Thiago

Thiago Silva (Brazil): 1. Neymar 2. Mbappe 3. Lewandowski

Sergio Ramos (Spain): 1. Lewandowski 2. Thiago 3. Neymar

Hugo Lloris (France): 1. Lewandowski 2. Thiago 3. Mbappe

Eden Hazard (Belgium): 1. Lewandowski 2. Ramos 3. De Bruyne

Manuel Neuer (Germany): 1. Lewandowski 2. De Bruyne 3. Thiago

The Best Fifa Women’s Player

It’s been a good few years for England’s left-back Lucy Bronze, who ended a three-year association with European powerhouse Lyon this summer. During her stay in France she’d lift three consecutive Champions League titles whilst claiming the same number of league titles. Now back at Manchester City, the Northumberland-born defender celebrates a first Fifa award with Danish forward Pernille Harder taking second place ahead of Bronze’s former Lyon colleague Wendie Renard.

Runner-up: Pernille Harder

The Best Fifa Men’s Goalkeeper

As the old saying goes, form is temporary but class is permanent and no one embodied that more in 2020 than Manuel Neuer, who returned to his old self and then some. It wasn’t so long ago that many observers were dismissing Bayern’s number one as a shadow of his former self. The same critics also called for him to step down as Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper. For him to answer such scepticism in style will have been highly satisfying.

Neuer played a pivotal role in the Bavarians’ climb back to European football’s top step; his leadership shone through and when called upon, he rolled back the years. A deserved honour if there ever was one. His competitor for the status as ‘world’s best goalkeeper’, and last year’s winner, Alisson came second with the equally impressive Jan Oblak of Atlético Madrid finishing behind him.

Runner-up: Alisson

Neuer Football Index value: £1.16 (Sell) £1.28 (Buy)

The Best Fifa Men’s Coach

The general consensus heading into this year’s prize ceremony was that a German would be named as best coach; after securing Bayern’s second treble in extraordinary circumstances, Hansi Flick was surely a lock but the powers that be had other ideas. His compatriot, Jurgen Klopp, who ended Liverpool’s three-decade wait for English football’s top honour, instead took home the accolade much to his amazement. “I’m grateful for it. I was a bit wide-eyed, I didn’t expect it at all. Hansi Flick won everything pretty much.” He becomes the first two-time winner since its 2016 inception with Flick holding off Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa rounding off the top three places.

Runner-up: Hansi Flick

The Best Fifa Women’s Coach

Klopp wasn’t the only two-time winner at this year’s ceremony. Sarina Wiegman, after guiding the Netherlands to a first European championship success in 2017, becomes the first women’s coach to be recognised twice. The 51-year-old can look forward to a big 2021. The Lionesses will take part in their first Olympic Games but, after that’s over, Wiegman is set to succeed Phil Neville as England boss. A potential name for that job was Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, who finished behind her Dutch counterpart in the standings. Completing the set was Lyon tactician Jean-Luc Vasseur.

Runner-up: Emma Hayes

Fifa Fair Play Award

An act that transcends sporting competition which undoubtedly deserved to be recognised. During a match between rivals earlier this year 17-year-old Ospedaletti forward Mattia Agnese witnessed an opponent representing Cairese lose consciousness. Without hesitation, the teenager practised life-saving first aid, which he learned from watching on YouTube. It proved successful and life affirming as both are now good friends.

Fifa Puskás Award

There’s no question Son Heung-min is in the form of his life. Tottenham’s all-round forward is three strikes away from matching his best Premier League goal return and he’s already equalled last season’s total having played 17 games fewer. One of those efforts from the 2019/20 campaign left an eternal impression on those witnessing it first-hand.

Burnley were unfortunately the victims in December 2019 as Son ran from one end of the pitch to the other (beating seven players in the process) to score an individual effort of the highest order. It subsequently earned him the moniker “Sonaldo Nazario” from boss Jose Mourinho as well as that season’s best goal in English football’s top division. And now it’s forever immortalised with this award.

Son Football Index value: £1.57 (Sell) £1.82 (Buy)

Fifa FIFPro World11

As usual when it comes to unveiling Fifa FIFPro World11 there are familiar and new faces. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alphonso Davies, Thiago, Joshua Kimmich and Lewandowski are first-time recipients. Curiously, Alisson makes the cut despite being beaten to the Best Men’s Goalkeeper award by Neuer. Virgil van Dijk also makes back-to-back appearances with Sergio Ramos, undoubtedly raising a few eyebrows, now sitting on 11 selections, which leaves him only behind Ronaldo and Messi (both on 14).

FIFpro World XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Ramos, Davies; Thiago, De Bruyne, Kimmich; Ronaldo, Lewandowski, Messi.

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