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How are the Best FIFA Football players selected?

We found out the nominees at the end of the year and that was followed by the final shortlists for each category. But how do we get to the winners?

How are the Best FIFA Football players selected?
PoolMarco Donato-FC Bayern/Pool via

As the footballing world - well, some of the footballing fraternity anyway - turns its gaze to Zurich on Monday 17 January 2022, the winners of The Best FIFA Football Awards will soon be known. Here at AS HQ we’ll be bringing you all the build-up, announcements and reaction live, but some of our readers have been asking about the process itself. So, let me give you the lowdown…

In related news:

How The Best FIFA Football Awards are decided

The inaugural ‘The Best’ awards ceremony came back in 2017, this following the breakaway from France Football’s Ballon d’Or version (we share more on that here). FIFA, that’s global football’s governing body for anyone new in the room, has their own headquarters in Switzerland, hence the venue, and it was the rather well-known Cristiano Ronaldo who collected the first award for his 2016 performances. Nice for publicity, suggested some cynics.

Since then, the winners in the men's category have been Ronaldo again, Luka Modric, Lionel Messi and, in last year's, Robert Lewandowski.

The voting is carried out by an international jury which composes of national team managers and captains and a pool of journalists. You can also get involved yourself as a percentage of the vote is made up by fans who vote through the FIFA website. Here's how the organisers explain it:

"The Best FIFA Men's Player is given to the most outstanding player in men's football as voted for by an international jury comprising the current coaches of all men's national teams (one per team), current captains of all men's national teams (one per team), one specialist journalist from each territory represented by a national team and fans registered on

"From a shortlist of 11 male players, the panel will select the winner for their respective achievements during the period from 8 October 2020 to 7 August 2021."

As well as the high-profiled men's category, there are also The Best awards for women, goalkeepers and coach. All rules, conditions and voting guidance is provided in this wordy doc from FIFA.

Who are The Best FIFA Football Awards 2021 final three nominees?

The final three nominees for The Best FIFA Women’s Player are:

- Jennifer Hermoso (Spain / FC Barcelona)

- Sam Kerr (Australia / Chelsea FC Women)

- Alexia Putellas (Spain / FC Barcelona)

The final three nominees for The Best FIFA Men’s Player are:

- Robert Lewandowski (Poland / FC Bayern München)

- Lionel Messi (Argentina / FC Barcelona / Paris Saint-Germain)

- Mohamed Salah (Egypt / Liverpool FC)

How can I watch The Best FIFA Football Awards 2021?

To follow the event live you can jump over at the appropriate time above to the live stream on and the FIFA YouTube channel.

As you have no doubt come to expect, you can also enjoy build-up to the event, details as they happen, and all the reaction, right here on AS USA. We'll get our own proceedings underway around an hour before the formalities begin.


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