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Messi beaten in FIFA election: Lewandowski defends title as world footballer

Messi beaten in FIFA elections
Lewandowski defends title as world footballer

Bayern Munich star striker Robert Lewandowski has reached the top of football for the second time in a row. As in 2020, the 33-year-old Polish national player is voted World Player of the Year. Lewandowski prevailed against record winner Lionel Messi from Paris St. Germain and Liverpool’s Egyptian exceptional player Mohamed Salah at “The Best FIFA Football Awards” gala.

Robert Lewandowski is the best in the world again. The 33-year-old star striker from Bayern Munich has been named FIFA World Player of the Year for the second year in a row. The Pole prevailed over six-time winners Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah in the voting of selected players, national coaches, journalists and fans. When the traditional Ballon d’Or was awarded in November, Messi landed ahead of Lewandowski.

Last season, the Pole improved Bayern legend Gerd Müller’s record for goals in one season from 40 to 41. In the current season, too, the Pole scores as he wants. At the European Championships in the summer, however, he was eliminated with Poland in the preliminary round. Messi, on the other hand, won the Copa America with Argentina and thus his first major title in the national jersey.

The Spaniard Alexia Putellas was honored as the best player in the world. “This award is for all of us,” said the 27-year-old to her team-mates at FC Barcelona. One of them, Jennifer Hermoso, had made it to the final, as had Australia’s Sam Kerr. Barcelona beat Chelsea 4-0 in the Champions League final last summer and Putellas had already been voted Europe’s best player.

Haaland storms with Messi and Ronaldo

Lewandowski’s Bayern team-mate Manuel Neuer, on the other hand, missed his second FIFA World Goalkeeper of the Year award. Tuchel’s Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy was chosen, and European champion Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain) also made it to the final. Neuer had won the election for 2020 after Bayern’s triple triumph. Thomas Tuchel was voted world coach of the year.

In the FIFA world team, Lewandowski represents the Bundesliga together with Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. The duo, along with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, form the attack in the selection that was voted for by almost 19,000 professionals, according to the players’ union Fifpro. “I’m happy,” said the connected Haaland. “All my life I’ve loved watching players score goals and it’s even better to score them yourself.” German players didn’t make it into the world eleven – even for women, where no Bundesliga players were selected either.

It got emotional during the gala when the fair play award was presented. The national players and the medical staff of the Danish selection were awarded after the drama about star player Christian Eriksen. The 29-year-old collapsed on the lawn on June 12, 2021 during the European Championship group match between Denmark and Finland in Copenhagen and had to be revived. Meanwhile, the visibly shocked Denmark internationals formed a protective circle around their team-mate. The FIFA Fan Award went to the Danish and Finnish fans.

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