FIFA’s annual ‘The Best’ awards took place on Thursday night, with the winner of some awards leaving fans scratching their heads in confusion.
Robert Lewandowksi was rightly crowned as the winner of the Men’s ‘The Best’ award, given to the best male player in the world. The Polish striker scored and assisted a remarkable 72 goals in 2020 so far, miles ahead of the other finalists Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
In the manager category though, many fans were left stunned as it was announced that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was given the award for ‘Best Coach’.
In isolation it looks like a worthy winner, but considering he was up against Hansi Flick of Bayern Munich it becomes a bit of a weird decision.
Flick took over from Bayern Munich in November 2019 and has since won five trophies, including the UEFA Champions League and German Bundesliga. Bayern won every single game in the Champions League tournament last season, becoming the first team to do so.
In a stunning stat, Flick has actually won more trophies (5) than he has lost games (3) since taking over at the Allianz Arena.
Klopp’s Liverpool side have had a fantastic 2020 themselves, winning the FIFA World Club Cup back in January before lifting their first league title in 30 years in record breaking fashion. It just doesn’t quite stack up to the achievements of a Bayern Munich side who dominated everyone that stepped into their path in a crazy year of football.
While the Anfield man is undoubtedly the best manager in the world right now, he didn’t have the best 2020 of all the managers on the list and the award should have gone to Flick.
Elsewhere on the night, Heung-Min Son was the winner of the ‘Puskas Award’, given to the scorer of the best goal over a 12 month period.
The Tottenham winger scored a stunning solo goal against Burnley to win the award, but fans were left a bit confused as the goal was scored in December 2019.
The rules on this award clear this one up pretty quickly though. Since the award is handed out before 2020 is over and goals are nominated in advance of the ceremony, the cut off date is pulled back slightly.
In this case, any goal scored between last year’s cut off date and October 7th this year would have been eligible – so Son’s is in.
Another confusing one came as Manuel Neuer was named as FIFA goalkeeper of the year, but then wasn’t named in the FIFA team of the year ahead of Liverpool counterpart Alisson Becker.
Either goalkeeper winning the award would’ve been hard to argue with, but to win the award and then not be included in the team just makes very little sense when you consider the whole point of the awards on the night.
The full team of the year was hard to argue with though, as Liverpool and Bayern Munich dominated the team.