Robert Lewandowski beat Lionel Messi to The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, while Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel, Edouard Mendy and Emma Hayes all took home top prizes.
Debate raged in October when Copa America winner and PSG forward Lionel Messi beat Bayern Munich’s Lewandowski to the 2021 Ballon d’Or, but now the striker has had his revenge.
Lewandowski claimed his second prize in two yearsAFP Meanwhile Tuchel took home top honours for his European triumphAFP
Messi has had a poor start to life in France since leaving Barcelona, while Lewandowski managed 69 goals in 59 games for club and country in 2021.
And he’s now been rewarded for his unstoppable goal scoring with back-to-back FIFA award wins, finishing ahead of Messi again this year, with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in third place.
“The first time will always be the first time, but winning the title for the second time in a row means a lot to me,” the Poland captain said. “I think that my athletic performance has developed in the right direction over the last two years.
“I am always very happy to receive individual awards because it is always an award for my team as well. What I win, the team also wins and that makes me very proud.”
Messi had previously paid tribute to Lewandowski after taking his seventh golden ballAFP
Chelsea, the 2021 Champions League winners also had a successful night, with their men’s and women’s teams both rewarded for their achievements.
Tuchel was named The Best FIFA Men’s coach for his European Cup win with the Blues just six months after replacing Frank Lampard in the dugout.
His goalkeeper, Mendy, was similarly rewarded by being named the best in the world in his position.
Mendy was named by Peter SchmeichelAFP It’s been a phenomenal year for HayesAFP
Tuchel’s counterpart at the women’s team, Hayes, picked up The Best FIFA Women’s Coach award after guiding her side to Super League, FA Cup and League Cup victories, as well as the Champions League final.
Tuchel paid tribute to his colleague, saying: “Well, it speaks for itself. She is already a legend here, and I’m trying hard to keep up and to stay as long as she does, and to catch as many titles.”
‘I’m completely shocked. I put it down to the players, the fantastic people that represent my work.’
Our boss, @EmmaHayes1! #TheBest
— Chelsea FC Women (@ChelseaFCW) January 17, 2022
Ronaldo was in attendance to pick up his special awardGetty While Lamela’s ridiculous goal against Arsenal was also rewarded
The side that defeated Hayes’ team in the final, Barcelona Femini, saw midfielder Alexia Putellas named The Best FIFA Women’s Player, while PSG keeper Christiane Endler was named the best women’s goalkeeper.
Elsewhere, Sevilla’s Erik Lamela took home the sought-after Puskas Award for his rabona nutmeg goal for Tottenham in the north London Derby, while Cristiano Ronaldo received a special gong for becoming international football’s all-time top scorer.
It means it is back-to-back wins for the top goal, with Heung-min Son winning it last year.
Coco and Sonny, Puskas Award winners. pic.twitter.com/EywlXSxK2c
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 17, 2022
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