Even though the Champions League was won by Chelsea and England managed to reach the European Championship final, there were no English football players named to FIFA’s shortlist of nominees for the annual best player awards this season. The list of candidates was just recently released by FIFA on Monday, November 22nd, 2021.
The two-time European champion with both Italy and Chelsea, Jorginho, made the cut along with his football club teammate N’Golo Kanté as well as 11 other nominees that will be voted on in order to win the 2020 – 2021 FIFA Best Player Award.
Some of the other candidates include some of the most popular and well-known football players of all time such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Robert Lewandowski. Lewandowski won the FIFA Best Player Award last season for his exceptional work on the pitch last year.
The men’s list is primarily dominated by strikers/forwards, and this list is comprised of players like Mohamed Salah, Kylian Mbappé, Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Karim Benzema, and Neymar for the men’s candidates that were nominated by a FIFA – selected board.
On the women’s side, last year’s winner, Lucy Bronze (English defender), once again made FIFA’s shortlist of contenders for the women’s best player award. There were 13 female candidates named as the final nominees for this prestigious honor. Bronze’s teammate on Manchester City and the women’s English national team, Ellen White, was another name published by FIFA as a possible winner of this award.
Canada was the women’s Olympic gold medal winner, and they possess one of the finalists for the women’s 2020 – 2021 FIFA Best Player Award in the veteran forward, Christine Sinclair. This nomination comes 19 – years after Sinclair was initially voted into the women’s top ten. There were no nominees from the women’s U. S. national team even though the United States women’s team came home with the bronze medal from the Tokyo Olympics back in 2020.
In terms of the goal tenders and defensemen, there were none selected for the main 2020 – 2021 FIFA Best Player Award, however goalies have their own category for a separate award. The goalkeeper of Italy, Gianluigi Donnarumma, who just so happened to be named as the player of the tournament at Euro 2020, is one of the five total goal tenders that were chosen for the FIFA Best Goalkeepers Award category.
Men’s Coaching Nominees
Robert Mancini helped lead Italy to the European title, is one of the seven total nominees for the FIFA Men’s Best Coaching Award. The list of other candidates for that award consist of Chelsea’s coach Thomas Tuchel as well as Lionel Scaloni. Scaloni led the Argentina national team to win the Copa America.
Women’s Coaching Nominees
Three women as well as two men make up the list of finalists for the FIFA Women’s Best Coaching Award. These nominees include Canada’s Bev Priestman, the European champion Barcelona’s Lluís Cortés, and the coach of the Chelsea women’s team in Emma Hayes.
Votes will be collected from the national team captains/coaches, fans, and media personnel across the globe up until Friday, December 10th, 2021. The ceremony will once again take place virtually from the FIFA headquarters located in Zurich, Switzerland due to the COVID – 19 pandemic. Prior to the virtual 2020 – 2021 FIFA award ceremony, each award category will be narrowed down to a list of the final three contestants which be publicly announced by FIFA in the near future.
The Associated Press News Services. “FIFA publishes shortlists for annual best player awards”. The Associated Press. November 22, 2021.