Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah are the male nominees; Alexia Putellas shortlisted for the women’s award


Lionel Messi is hoping to add to his seventh Ballon d’Or as he has been nominated for the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award for 2021, and Alexia Putellas is the favorite for the women’s award.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward faces last year’s winner Robert Lewandowski and Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah.

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Messi helped Argentina win the Copa America, their first major trophy since 1993, and Lewandowski won the European Golden Boot, with his 41 goals setting a new Bundesliga record. Salah has had an exceptional year 2021 and is the Premier League’s top scorer with 16.

Putellas’ rivals for the women’s award are Barcelona and Spain teammate Jenni Hermoso as well as Chelsea and Australia forward Sam Kerr.

Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel and Italy’s Roberto Mancini were the nominees for Best Men’s Coach, and Barca’s Lluis Cortes, Chelsea’s Emma Hayes and Netherlands’ Sarina Wiegman are in the running for Best Coach feminine.

Barca midfielder Putellas, winner of the third Women’s Ballon d’Or in 2021, helped Barca win the Primera Division, Copa de la Reina and the Champions League treble.

The FIFA Best Award was first presented in its current form to Cristiano Ronaldo in 2016. Previously, the FIFA World Player of the Year award ran alongside the 1991 France Football Ballon d’Or. to 2009.

However, from 2010 to 2015, the two awards merged to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

Ronaldo is the only player to have won the award twice, when he retained it in 2017, although both Messi and Lewandowski can tie his total.


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