FIFA Best Player Awards 2021 is set to be the stage for Messi and Lewandowski rivalry part 2 after Ballon d’Or this week. 

Messi’s victory for his seventh Ballon d’Or has split the world in two. Some think the Argentine talisman deserved it after winning his first international trophy with Argentina in the Copa America. He was also named the tournament’s best player, with five goals and five assists. Others, however, prefer Robert Lewandowski because he has scored more goals than Messi and has broken the Bundesliga top scoring record. Not to mention Messi’s unimpressive form in Ligue 1 as seen in the last two outings, held by Nice in the midweek and Lens on the weekend.

Both will have another opportunity to demonstrate who is more deserving of the award. The vote is still open, and fans from all over the world can join it by visiting FIFA.com before the deadline on December 10th, 2021. The result will be announced on January 17th, 2022.

FIFA Best Player Awards 2021 will Stage Another Messi-Lewandowski Rivalry 

Ballon d’Or Winners not Always Equal to FIFA Best Players

A lot of fans assume that the Ballon d’Or winners will always be the FIFA Best Player in the same year. Such thoughts might come from the fact that both are notable accolades in football. They were even merged from 2010 to 2016, which might justify their opinion.

These two awards are not, in fact, the same. France Football magazine has been organizing the Ballon d’Or since 1956, whereas FIFA Best Player has only been held since 1991. The annual FIFA Football Awards do not always highlight the Ballon d’Or winners. Since its first edition in 1991, the latter has not had the same winners as the former in 1991, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004. Andrey Shevchenko, the current Genoa boss, was the last Ballon d’Or winner to fail in the FIFA Best Player Awards in 2004, which went to Brazilian Ronaldinho instead. So, Robert Lewandowski and his fans do have a chance to retain his 2020 accolade.

Aside from Bayern Munich’s forward, there are a few other names who could possibly clinch the award. Jorginho, the Chelsea midfielder who only finished third in the Ballon d’Or vote result, is the non-favorite who deserves the award after helping Chelsea and Italy secure their second  Champions League title and EURO title respectively in 2021. Liverpool’s Mo Salah, Real Madrid man Karim Benzema and last but not least, Messi’s archrival, Cristiano Ronaldo are among other names who could swoop the top vote for their impressive contributions.

Nominees

Here are the complete nominees:

-Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

– Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

– Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus / Manchester United)

– Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)

– Jorginho (Chelsea)

– N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

– Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

– Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

– Lionel Messi (Barcelona / PSG)

– Neymar (Brazil / PSG)

– Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

FIFA Puskas Awards and Other Categories 

The world football governing body does not only name the best player in their annual Football Awards but also select the best goals of the year in FIFA Puskas Awards. The nominees have just been unveiled recently. Here are the 11 shortlisted goals:

1.Luis Díaz (COL) – Brazil v. Colombia (CONMEBOL Copa América 2021)

2.Gauthier Hein (FRA) – Chamois Niortais FC v. AJ Auxerre (Ligue 2 2020/21)

3.Erik Lamela (ARG) – Arsenal FC v. Tottenham Hotspur FC (Premier League 2020/21)

4.Valentino Lazaro (AUT) – Bayer Leverkusen v. Borussia Mönchengladbach (Bundesliga 2020/21)

5.Riyad Mahrez (ALG) – Zimbabwe v. Algeria (CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2021 qualifiers) 

6.Sandra Owusu-Ansah (GHA) – Kumasi Sports Academy Ladies FC v. Supreme Ladies FC (Ghana Women’s Premier League 2021)

7.Vangelis Pavlidis (GRE) – Willem II v. Fortuna Sittard (Eredivisie 2020/21)

8.Daniela Sanchez (MEX) – Queretaro FC v. Atlético de San Luis (Liga MX Femenil 2021)

9.Patrik Schick (CZE) – Czech Republic v. Scotland (UEFA EURO 2020)

10.Mehdi Taremi (IRN) – Chelsea FC v. FC Porto (UEFA Champions League 2021)

11.Caroline Weir (SCO) – Manchester City WFC v. Manchester United WFC (FA Women’s Super League 2021)

Meanwhile, the nominees for the best goalkeeper and best coach are as follows:

Best Goalkeeper:

– Alisson Becker (Liverpool)

– Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan/ PSG)

– Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)

– Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

– Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City) 

Best Coach:

Antonio Conte (Inter Milan / Tottenham Hotspur)

– Hansi Flick (Bayern Munich / German national team)

– Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)

– Roberto Mancini (Italian national team)

– Lionel Sebastian Scaloni (Argentine national team)

– Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid)

– Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea) 

Main Image Credit Embed from Getty Images