The Best FIFA Men’s Player is a football award presented annually by FIFA, to the world’s best men’s player since 2016. The award was previously known as the FIFA World Player of the Year, which was in collaboration with France Football’s Ballon d’Or in 2010 to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or in a six-year collaboration deal.
Since its inception in 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo became the first recipient of this award, followed by the 2017 award as well. However, in 2018, Luka Modric was the winner, followed by Lionel Messi in 2018. Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski won the Best FIFA Men’s Player award in consecutive years 2020 and 2021. Lionel Messi is the latest to win the award after his tremendous run in FIFA World Cup 2022.
All the winners of The Best FIFA Men’s Player Awards in detail:
#1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 2016
In 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo won the Best FIFA Men’s Player award for his double European triumph with club and country; as well as winning the prestigious Ballon d’Or Award.
Ronaldo has received 34.54% of the total vote to beat Barcelona and Argentina striker Lionel Messi (26.42%) and Antoine Griezmann (7.53%) of Atletico Madrid and France.
His performances during the UEFA Champions League final against Atletico Madrid and his performances in the Euro Cup Final against France showed how good he is. Not only that, Ronaldo scored 51 goals in club competitions that season. But unfortunately, Real Madrid missed out on the La Liga title to Barcelona by just a point.
#2. Cristiano Ronaldo – 2017
After his dominating triumph in 2016, The Portuguese superstar again came victorious and got his hands on the award in 2017.
The former Real Madrid star has scored 44 goals in just 48 games for club and country so far this calendar year; Including two goals in a 4-1 Champions League final win over Juventus.
On top of that Ronaldo’s Real Madrid side, won both La Liga and the Champions League that season.
#3. Luka Modric – 2018
Luka Modric became The Best Fifa Footballer of the Year in 2018. The Croatian beat Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo to become the first player other than Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win since Kaka in 2007.
The Los Blancos star won the Champions League back-to-back 3 times with Real Madrid, also leading Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final. Unfortunately, they lost 4-2 to France.
#4. Lionel Messi – 2019
In 2019, Barcelona Legend Lionel Messi finally got his hands on the prestigious Best FIFA Men’s Player award. He faced competition from Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo but he managed to win it past them.
Lionel Messi enjoyed another prolific season last year. Finishing as Europe’s top goalscorer and helping Barcelona retain their La Liga title.
#5. Robert Lewandowski – 2020
Robert Lewandowski was the deserving winner of this prestigious award after his scintillating performances with Bayern Munich. He beat the likes of the superstars, Messi and Ronaldo, to get his hands on the award.
The Polish striker was named the FIFA Best Men’s Player for 2020 after his 55-goal season which helped Bayern Munich to a galore of international and domestic trophies.
#6. Robert Lewandowski – 2021
Lewandowski has won the Best FIFA Men’s Player award for the second year after his triumph in 2020. Having missed out on the Ballon d’Or to Lionel Messi; Lewandowski saw off competition from PSG star Lionel Messi, and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.
The Bayern Munich and Poland striker enjoyed another sensational year in 2021, scoring 69 goals in all competitions. Moreover, He broke the all-time record for most goals in a season, which was previously held by Gerd Muller.
#7 Lionel Messi – 2022
Lionel Messi won “The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award 2022” after his heroics with the Argentine National team in the FIFA World Cup 2022. He was the “Player of the tournament” in the world cup. Moreover, he went on to win the most player of the match awards (5) in the whole world cup as well. The PSG forward also had a good season with the French club and along with Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe was one of the contenders to win the award. Eventually, he won the award for the second time and the “FIFA World Player of the year award” for a record 7th time.
Note: The article was first written by Niladri Biswas. Then, got updated by Koushik Biswas on the relevancy of the topic.