FIFA The Best – Lewandowski beats Messi, Ronaldo for best men’s player

Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski has won FIFA The Best Men’s Player of the Year for 2020, beating Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi and JuventusCristiano Ronaldo to the award.

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Lewandowski joins Luka Modric (2018) as the only players other than Lionel Messi (6) and Cristiano Ronaldo (5) to have won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year since 2008.

Manchester City and England defender Lucy Bronze won FIFA The Best Women’s Player of the Year. She is the first male or female player from England to land the honour from FIFA.

Bayern’s Manuel Neuer won the award for best goalkeeper — becoming the first German goalie to take home the prize — while Son Heung-min was handed the Puskas Award for the best goal with his stunning end-to-end run and strike in Tottenham’s 5-0 win over Burnley on Dec. 7, 2019.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was named Coach of the Year for the second time — he also won it in 2019, making him the first man to win the award twice. Netherlands manager Sarina Wiegman was given the women’s Coach of the Year award, also for the second time, joining Jill Ellis (2) and Silvia Neid (3) as the only multi-time female winners.

FIFA’s The Best award is the rebirth of the FIFA World Player of the Year award, which ran parallel to the Ballon d’Or award from 1991 to 2009. The two awards then merged to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or from 2010 to 2015 before FIFA The Best was reintroduced in 2016.

The winners were announced via a virtual ceremony on Thursday.

Lewandowski, whose 55 goals helped Bayern win the Treble in 2019-20, said he was disappointed the Ballon d’Or award had been cancelled due to COVID-19. But he added his first FIFA The Best award edging Ronaldo, who has won it twice, and Messi, who won in 2019.

Ronaldo scored 31 goals in Serie A last term as Juventus won the title, while Messi hit 25 in La Liga. Lewandowski scored 34 in the Bundesliga to finish second in the European Golden Shoe list.

Although Ronaldo and Messi missed out on the top prize, they were both named alongside Lewandowski in the FIFA FIFPro World XI. Bayern Munich and Canada international Alphonso Davies also made the XI, becoming the first player from his country to make the select group.

U.S. women’s forward Megan Rapinoe was picked for the FIFA FIFPro World Women’s XI, as was Bronze, Tobin Heath of the U.S. and France’s Wendie Renard.

Rapinoe tweeted a statement after the announcement saying she was honored, but didn’t think she deserved to be in the team after not playing in a match since March.

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