Following FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards event, vote results for each international captain’s top three players of 2021 have been announced.
Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich won the coveted Men’s Player of the Year title for the second time in his career following a spectacular season in attack for the Bundesliga giants in 2021.
The leaked votes provide an intriguing picture of how the Polish forward gained the accolade, with a large number of Lewandowski’s opponents voting for him.
According to the paper, international leaders Harry Kane, Gareth Bale, and Cristiano Ronaldo all voted for the 33-year-old to win the honor.
Jorginho of Chelsea garnered a surprising number of votes to win the honor, with Mohamed Salah, Robert Lewandowski, and England coach Gareth Southgate all voting for the Italian.
Ronaldo narrowly made the top three votes, having been bypassed by former colleagues such as Luka Modric and Gareth Bale.
Despite a number of injury setbacks in 2021, Lionel Messi voted for Neymar as ‘The Best’ player of the year, with fellow Frenchmen Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema filling out Messi’s top three choices.
Elsewhere, there was criticism around the omission of some Premier League players from ‘The Best’ XI of 2021, despite being nominated and winning other prizes on the night.
Edouard Mendy of Chelsea earned the FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year award but was snubbed from ‘The Best’ XI in favor of PSG’s Gianluigi Donarumma.
Mohamed Salah was a finalist for the Player of the Year award, which makes his removal from a starting XI that has four attackers all the more bizarre.