This is the very beginning of our The Best FIFA Awards live blog, where we’ll have build-up news and then minute-by-minute updates from Zurich. As always, the entries nearest the top are the most recent.
Cristiano Ronaldo is here in Zurich to collect a special award for becoming the men’s international highest scorer with 115.
“It is a dream,” Cristiano began. “First of all, I have to say thank you to my teammates in the national team in the last 20 years that I used to play with.
“The record was 109, right? So six ahead. I am so proud. It is a special award from Fifa, an organisation I respect a lot. I also have to thank my family. Soon I will be a father again. I am proud. It is great to be the goalscorer of all time.
“I still have the passion for the game and to score goals. I play football since I was five years old. When I go to the pitch, even in training, my motivation is still there.
“Even 37 soon, I feel good. I keep working hard. I love the game and have the passion. I want to continue. I hope to play maybe four or five years, It is all mental. If you treat your body good, when you need it it will give back.”
The Best FIFA Men’s Player – Robert Lewandowski
Bayern Munich player Robert Lewandowski wins The Best FIFA Men’s Player award beating out Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah.
“Thank you I am very honoured to win this trophy,” the Pole said. “I feel very proud. This belongs to my teammates and coaches.
“I never dream about breaking this record [of Gerd Muller]. To score 41 in 29 games, if you ask me that a few years ago if it is possible I would tell you it is impossible. I also say to him thank you. He set so many records and to me it was always the next step to try and break it.”
The Best FIFA Women’s Player – Alexia Putellas
Barcelona player Alexia Putellas wins The Best FIFA Women’s Player award beating out Chelsea superstar Sam Kerr, and Barcelona teammate Jenni Hermoso.
The FIFA Fifpro Men’s World XI
Men’s World XI: Donnarumma; Dias, Bonucci, Alaba; Jorginho, Kante, De Bruyne; Ronaldo, Haaland, Lewandowski, Messi.
The FIFA Fifpro Women’s World XI
Women’s World XI: Chistiane Endler; Lucy Bronze, Wendy Renard, Mille Bright, Magdalena Erikkson; Estafania Banini, Carli Lloyd, Barbara Bonansea; Vivianne Miedema, Marta, Alex Morgan.
FIFA Fan Award – Denmark and Finland Fans
Both sets of fans who were present during the incident with Eriksen at Euro 2020. While the Danish midfielder was being resuscitated, the Finnish fans inside the ground began chanting ‘Christian’ and the Danes replied ‘ Eriksen’.
German football fans and Imogen Papworth-Heidel were also nominated.
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach – Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel wins the Best Fifa Men’s Coach award after he took the Blues to the 2021 Champions League. Tuchel beat out Pep Guardiola and Italy boss Roberto Mancini.
“It was a pretty normal day so far at training. I have just come here,” Tuchel said. “But now you have said my name and it is pretty surreal. I am overwhelmed and a bit uncomfortable.
“I enjoy the journey and the club. It is a good fit. The company on the journey is so good. We lost a bit of track to Manchester City in the league but we follow our goals still and be the best version of ourselves.”
The FIFA Best Women’s Coach – Emma Hayes
A visibly shocked Emma Hayes, the current Chelsea boss, wins the award, beating out Barcelona’s Lluis Cortes and England’s Sarina Wiegman.
FIFA Fair Play Award – Denmark National Team and Staff
One of the most distressing moments in 2021 was Christian Eriksen’s collapse during the Euro 2020 match against Finland.
Eriksen had a cardiac arrest and was surrounded by his Denmark teammates as the tried to stop tv cameras and the crowd from witnessing the player being resuscitated.
After several tense and agonising minutes, the Danish medical team fought to save Eriksen’s life, and thankfully they did.
Puskas Award – Erik Lamela
Former Tottenham striker Lamela wins the Puskas Award for his rabona finish for Spurs against Arsenal.
Lamela beat out Patrik Schick and his goal for the Czech Republic vs Scotland in Euro 2020, and Mehdi Taremi who scores in Chelsea vs Porto Champions League match in April 2021.
The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper – Edouard Mendy
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy beats out Gianluigi Donnarumma and Manuel Neuer to The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award.
The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper – Christiane Endler
Christiane Endler wins the Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper award after she conceded just four goals all season. Endler beat out Ann-Katrin Berger and Stephanie Labbe.
“I am very, very happy and proud,” Endler said. “To be the first South American to win it is an honour. Finally it is the right time. Thank you to everyone who vote for me.
“I want to win the women’s Champions league this year. I hope we can do it. With the national team I would like to play another World Cup. We are growing.”
Christine Sinclair wins FIFA Best Special Award
Canadian striker Christine Sinclair kicks things off with a special award in recognition for her 188 goals at international level, making her the all-time leading scorer in international football.
“I would like to take this time to thank Fifa for this once in a lifetime recognition,” she said. “First and foremost thanks to my family.
“To my parents for letting me go off and chase my dreams, to my brother – I hope he knows all I wanted to be was him. I have been lucky to win trophies internationally and at club level.
“The victories are quickly forgotten – apart from the Olympic gold medal! What lasts most is the connections I have made. To all my team-mates, I hope you know how thankful I am to all of you.”