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What is FIFA The Best: Winners List of FIFA The Best

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FIFA The Best is an annual awards ceremony organized by FIFA to recognize and honour the world’s best football talents. Launched in 2016, it includes several categories such as The Best FIFA Men’s Player, The Best FIFA Women’s Player, The Best FIFA Goalkeeper, and The Best FIFA Coach for both men’s and women’s football. 

The Best FIFA Football Awards have quickly become a prestigious highlight in the football calendar, complementing the long-standing Ballon d’Or.

Inter Miami star forward Lionel Messi was named The Best FIFA Men’s Player for the second consecutive year in January 2024.  Meanwhile, Aitana Bonmatí, following her Ballon d’Or triumph, won The Best FIFA Women’s Player award.

In this article we take you through details about this prestigious award. 

What is FIFA the Best?

FIFA The Best is an annual awards ceremony by FIFA, initiated in 2016, to honour the top performers in football. It includes categories like The Best FIFA Men’s and Women’s Player, Goalkeeper, and Coach. 

The awards are determined by a combination of votes from national team coaches, captains, media representatives, and fans. This event aims to celebrate outstanding performances and contributions in the sport over the previous year, promoting excellence and sportsmanship.

Read More: Football Rules: A Comprehensive Guide for Players and Fans 

Who Decides the Winners of FIFA The Best Award?

The Best FIFA Football Awards differ from the Ballon d’Or by incorporating a significant fan voting component. The winners are determined through a voting process that includes contributions from four distinct groups: current national team coaches, the captains of all national teams, one specialist journalist from each territory, and fans who are registered on FIFA.com.

This inclusive approach ensures that a wide range of perspectives from the football community are considered in selecting the award recipients.

FIFA The Best Men’s Player Winners List from 2016 to 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo was the first to win the Best FIFA Men’s Player award, while Carli Lloyd of the USA was named the Best FIFA Women’s Player in 2016. Lionel Messi holds the record for the most wins, having claimed the title three times.

The awards also honour goalkeepers, with The Best FIFA Goalkeeper introduced for men in 2017 and for women in 2019. Another key category is The Best FIFA Football Coach, with Claudio Ranieri, then manager of Leicester City, being the first recipient in 2016.

Additionally, FIFA announces the FIFA FIFPRO World 11, recognizing the best players in both men’s and women’s football.

2016Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid and Portugal
2017Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid and Portugal
2018Luka ModricReal Madrid and Croatia
2019Lionel MessiBarcelona and Argentina
2020Robert LewandowskiBayern Munich and Poland
2021Robert LewandowskiBayern Munich and Poland
2022Lionel MessiParis Saint-Germain and Argentina
2023Lionel MessiInter Miami and Argentina

The Best FIFA Women’s Player Winners List

2016Carli LloydHouston Dash and USA
2017Lieke MartensBarcelona and Netherlands
2018MartaOrlando Pride and Brazil
2019Megan RapinoeReign FC and USA
2020Lucy BronzeManchester City and England
2021Alexia PutellasBarcelona and Spain
2022Alexia PutellasBarcelona and Spain
2023Aitana BonmatíBarcelona and Spain

Other Top Awards in Football 

Apart from FIFA The Best, several prestigious awards in football recognize outstanding talent and achievements. These awards celebrate individual excellence, team performance, and significant contributions to the sport.

Suggested Read: 5 Greatest Footballers of all time to feature in FIFA World Cup

Ballon d’Or

Established in 1956 by France Football magazine, the Ballon d’Or is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in football. It is given annually to the best male player in the world, as voted by journalists from around the globe. The award expanded in 2018 to include the Ballon d’Or Féminin, which honours the best female footballer.

UEFA Awards

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) presents multiple awards, including the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year. These awards recognize the best players in European club competitions, as voted by coaches and journalists. UEFA also honours the best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, and forward in the Champions League.

Suggested Read: Who is the God of Football – Records, Famous Quotes

Golden Boot

The Golden Boot is awarded to the top goal scorer in various competitions. The European Golden Shoe, for instance, is given to the leading goal scorer across European leagues each season. Additionally, the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot is awarded to the highest scorer in the men’s and women’s World Cup tournaments.


In conclusion, FIFA The Best awards have swiftly established themselves as a significant fixture in the football calendar, celebrating the sport’s top talents since their inception in 2016. By incorporating a diverse voting process that includes coaches, captains, media, and fans, these awards ensure a comprehensive recognition of excellence across various categories, including players, goalkeepers, and coaches. 

Further Read: Who is the GOAT of football ?

FAQs about FIFA the Best

Q) What are the FIFA Best Awards?

A) The FIFA Best Awards recognize the top performances in football, including Best FIFA Men’s Player, Best FIFA Women’s Player, and more.

Q) When are the FIFA Best Awards held?

A) The awards are typically held annually towards the end of the year.

Q) Who votes for the winners of the FIFA Best Awards?

A) Votes are cast by national team coaches, captains, journalists, and fans worldwide.

Q) What criteria are used for selecting the winners?

A) Winners are chosen based on their performances over the past year, including individual skills, teamwork, and overall impact on the game.

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