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Robert Lewandowski wins FIFA Men's Player of the Year as Thomas Tuchel claims manager prize

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Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has won the men’s player award for the second year running.

The 33-year-old Poland international set a new record for most Bundesliga goals in a calendar year with his 43rd goal in December, breaking the record set by Gerd Muller in 1972.

Lewandowski, winner of the men’s award in 2020, also became the first player in Bundesliga history to finish top scorer in four consecutive seasons.

Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas was named women’s player of the year, adding the accolade to her Ballon d’Or triumph.

Putellas, 27, captained Barcelona to the treble, with the Catalan side winning the Women’s Champions League, Spanish league and Copa de la Reina last term.

Chelsea claimed both coaching prizes, as Thomas Tuchel and Emma Hayes won the men’s and women’s awards respectively, while Edouard Mendy was named men’s goalkeeper of the year.

Tuchel was named men’s coach of the year after steering his club to Champions League glory last season.

The 48-year-old German replaced Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge in January 2021 and had an immediate impact, starting his spell with a 14-game unbeaten run.

Former Borussia Dortmund and Paris St Germain head coach Tuchel also led Chelsea to the FA Cup final and a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League.

He was named on a seven-man shortlist alongside Antonio Conte, Hansi Flick, Pep Guardiola, Roberto Mancini, Lionel Scaloni and Diego Simeone.

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Hayes, 45, guided the Blues to Women’s Super League and League Cup glory last season and steered the London side to the Champions League final.

She was named WSL manager of the season for her feats and was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours for services to football.

Mendy, 29, is in his second season at the Premier League club after joining from Rennes in September 2020.

The Senegal international had been nominated for the award alongside Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma and Germany’s Manuel Neuer.

Chile’s Christiane Endler, who joined Lyon from Paris St Germain in June 2021, was named women’s goalkeeper of the year.

Tuchel was shocked to receive the award from world football’s governing body.

He said: “It was a pretty normal day so far at the training centre, I’ve just come from training because we have a game (on Tuesday), but now you opened the envelope and said my name, it’s pretty surreal.

“I’m overwhelmed, I feel a bit uncomfortable actually. I enjoy the journey and I enjoy the club, it’s a good fit. The company on the journey is so good, so I’m grateful to have such supportive people around me, to feel so good in such a competitive club.

“We’ve lost a bit of track to Manchester City in the (Premier) League, but in other competitions we follow our goals still. We try to be the best versions of ourselves and try to compete at the highest level. We’ll try our best to fulfil our dreams.”

Hayes said she was taken aback at winning the accolade and paid tribute to her players and staff at Chelsea.

Speaking via video link at the ceremony, she said: “I’m completely shocked. It’s down to the players and the fantastic people who represent my work. Ultimately, the coach is only as good as the people they have around them.

“I’ve got brilliant people at Chelsea that have helped to support the team to the place we’re at. Honestly, I’m absolutely shocked right now.”


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