Bayern Munich’s Lewandowski, Flick head FIFA awards shortlist


(Reuters) – Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and coach Hans-Dieter Flick have been named on the shortlist for ‘The Best FIFA Football Awards’ after their treble-winning campaign last season, world soccer’s governing body announced on Wednesday.

Lewandowski, top scorer for Bayern in the Champions League (15 goals) and Bundesliga (34), was a firm favourite for the Ballon d’Or award before it was scrapped this year for the first time in its 64-year history because of the novel coronavirus.

However, the Polish striker can still lay claim to being the best player in the world if he picks up the FIFA award, which will be presented on Dec. 17.

Lewandowski’s former team mate and current Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara was also nominated along with annual regulars – Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

Joining them on the shortlist are Champions League runners-up Paris St Germain’s forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe while Liverpool’s Premier League winning trio of Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane also made the cut.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, the Premier League’s player of the year last season, also made the shortlist as did Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.

Flick, who took charge in November last year, was nominated for the best men’s coach along with Liverpool’s Juergen Klopp, Leeds United’s Marcelo Bielsa, Real’s Zinedine Zidane and Sevilla’s Europa League-winning coach Julen Lopetegui.

Among the women’s best player nominees are European and French champions Olympique Lyonnais’ captain Wendie Renard and former team mate Lucy Bronze, who moved to Manchester City.

Arsenal’s free-scoring Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema also made the shortlist along with Sam Kerr who won the FA Women’s Super League last season with Chelsea.

Lyon’s Jean-Luc Vasseur is nominated for the best women’s coach along with Chelsea’s Emma Hayes and last year’s runner-up Sarina Wiegman of the Netherlands.

Wiegman was recently appointed England women’s new coach and will replace Phil Neville in September 2021.

Fans will also be allowed to make their vote count with public voting on FIFA’s website open until Dec. 9. The top three finalists in each category will be announced on Dec. 11.

Full list of nominees:

The Best FIFA Men’s Player: Thiago Alcantara (Spain/Bayern Munich and Liverpool), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Juventus), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich), Sadio Mane (Senegal/Liverpool), Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris St Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Neymar (Brazil/Paris St Germain), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid), Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands/Liverpool)

The Best FIFA Women’s Player: Lucy Bronze (England/Olympique Lyonnais and Manchester City), Delphine Cascarino (France/Olympique Lyonnais), Caroline Graham Hansen (Norway/Barcelona), Pernille Harder (Denmark/VfL Wolfsburg and Chelsea), Jennifer Hermoso (Spain/Barcelona), Ji So-yun (South Korea/Chelsea), Sam Kerr (Australia/Chelsea), Saki Kumagai (Japan/Olympique Lyonnais), Dzsenifer Marozsan (Germany/Olympique Lyonnais), Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands/Arsenal), Wendie Renard (France/Olympique Lyonnais)