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Robert Lewandowski Wins FIFA's The Best over Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 18, 2022

Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski has been named The Best FIFA Men's Player for 2021:

FIFA World Cup @FIFAWorldCup

🚨🏆 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheBest?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheBest</a> FIFA Men’s Player Award 2021 goes to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RobertLewandowski?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RobertLewandowski</a>! <br><br>🌎🇵🇱 Fans, players, coaches and journalists have spoken, naming <a href="https://twitter.com/lewy_official?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@lewy_official</a> as <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheBest?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheBest</a>! <a href="https://t.co/21hfIDR3rI">pic.twitter.com/21hfIDR3rI</a>

B/R Football @brfootball

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI WINS THE BEST MEN'S PLAYER 🏆 <a href="https://t.co/6SM0m1cIWG">pic.twitter.com/6SM0m1cIWG</a>

Paris Saint-Germain's Lionel Messi and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah were also finalists for the award.

It's the second straight FIFA player of the year honor for Lewandowski, who has been shut out for the Ballon d'Or Trophy, another award given to the best in world football. Messi was named the 2021 Ballon d'Or winner as Lewandowski finished second, while the award was canceled in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lewandowski has been the most dominant goal scorer in the world over the past few years. He has 23 goals through 19 Bundesliga matches this season to lead all players in the top five leagues. His nine Champions League goals rank second behind Ajax forward Sebastien Haller (10).

The 33-year-old set a Bundesliga record with 41 goals in 2020-21, breaking Gerd Muller's record of 40 from 1971-72.

The striker helped Bayern Munich win a ninth straight league title as well as the FIFA Club World Cup after winning a Champions League title in 2020. The squad has finished first in the Bundesliga in all seven years with Lewandowski on the roster and currently sit on top of the table for 2021-22.

While Messi led Argentina to a Copa America championship over the summer, Lewandowski has kept Poland competitive despite being overmatched in most competitions. The national team qualified for Euro 2020 and is two wins away from reaching the 2022 World Cup. 

Through eight World Cup qualifying matches, Lewandowski has eight goals and four assists.

Salah also impressed throughout 2021, scoring 16 Premier League goals to begin this season after tallying 22 a year ago. He still couldn't keep up with Lewandowski from either an individual or team perspective over the past year.

It's been an all-around outstanding year for the superstar as he continues to raise the bar deep into his career.   

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