These individuals had stellar seasons with their respective sides.

FIFA, the governing body for football across the globe will hold its annual award ceremony, The Best FIFA Football Awards on January 17, 2022. These awards aim to facilitate the best performing players from the previous year. The expert panel considers players who impressed for both club and country while maintaining a consistent level of performance throughout. 

One of the major categories that attract a lot of attention is the FIFA Best Men’s Player Award. The year 2021 had many breakout performances from the usual suspects and some unexpected names. The nominees for the award involves exceptional players, who were in breathtaking form across the year in all competitions. They managed to win several individual accolades along with winning trophies with their respective teams. 

Keeping the focus on this particular award category that will see stiff competition, here are the five favourites to win the FIFA Best Men’s Player award:

5. Jorginho

Jorginho had an incredibly successful 2021, wherein he won club and international honours. The midfielder won the UEFA Euro 2020 with Italy and was one of their best performers in the tournament. Furthermore. Jorginho was part of the Chelsea squad that was perhaps the most successful club in Europe.

The Blues went on to win the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup. He also helped them reach the final of the FA Cup. The Italian midfielder won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award in August 2021 and also finished third in the Ballon d’Or rankings.

4. N’Golo Kanté

Kante has been sensation for Chelsea this year (Courtesy: Eurosport)

Jorginho’s teammate at Chelsea, N’Golo Kanté is also one of the favourites to win the FIFA Best Men’s Player award. He was a major part of the London-based outfit’s success and continued his impressive performances on a consistent basis. In addition to winning the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup with Chelsea, Kante also won an international trophy.

The midfielder was part of the France squad which won the UEFA Nations League 2020-21. He finished fifth in the Ballon d’Or rankings and could go on to win the FIFA Best Men’s Player award. 

3. Mohamed Salah

Several experts believe that Mohamed Salah is the best player in the world based on his current form. The exceptional Egyptian winger is obliterating the competition in the Premier League for Liverpool. He is leading the goalscoring charts with 16 goals and nine assists in merely 20 matches.

The 29-year-old finished with 31 goals in all competitions at the end of last season. Salah finished seventh in the Ballon d’Or rankings but will stake a stronger claim at the FIFA Best Awards based on his current form, which is second to none at the moment.

2. Lionel Messi

Messi won the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time (Courtesy: New York Times)

Messi won a record seventh Ballon d’Or after a successful year individually. The Argentine made a lot of headlines after deciding to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2021, leaving FC Barcelona where he established himself as a legend of the sport. One of his major achievements from 2021 came while playing for the national team.

The 34-year-old won the Copa America with Argentina, a major international trophy which was eluding him for the longest time. Messi has previously won the FIFA Best Men’s Player award in 2019 and is a strong favourite to win it again. 

1. Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski is a major favourite to win the FIFA Best Men’s Player award. The striker had a remarkable year where he scored 69 goals, the most for an individual player. He also broke the German Bundesliga record of scoring the most goals in a year with 43 strikes playing for FC Bayern Munich. The Polish international was the winner of the award last time as well and has made a stronger claim for it this time around.

He could become only the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo to win the FIFA Best Men’s Player award two successive times. Lewandowski finished second in the Ballon d’Or rankings but won the Striker of the Year award at the ceremony.

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