Germany captain Manuel Neuer has become the first German to win FIFA’s Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year award. For the second year running, Jürgen Klopp was named as the best coach after winning the Premier League with Liverpool. FC Bayern’s Hansi Flick and Leeds United’s Marcelo Bielsa were the other coaches in contention. Robert Lewandowski won the world’s best footballer award, while Joshua Kimmich was the only German player to be named in FIFA’s Fifpro team of the year, voted for by over 50,000 professionals worldwide.
34-year-old Neuer, a treble winner at FC Bayern, beat off competition from Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) and Allison Becker (Liverpool). “This has been one of the best years of my career. What we achieved in 2020 was simply amazing. We’re really happy,” said Neuer at the ceremony. This was the fourth year a best goalkeeper was voted for, with Neuer making the top three in 2017 and Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona) also losing out to Alisson last year.
Robert Lewandowski was named as the World’s Best Footballer ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, adding to his titles as Germany and Europe’s best player in 2020. Lewandowski is the first Bundesliga player to be named as the world’s best player – Lothat Matthäus is the only German ever to win this award (1991 as an Inter player).
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’m really proud and happy. It’s a great day for me, my club and my teammates. This prize belongs to them too and the staff,” said Lewandowski.
Klopp commented: “I have to thank a lot of people, most of all my coaching staff. If I had thought I was going to win, then they would all be here with me.” Previous winners of this award include national coach Joachim Löw in 2014 after winning the World Cup and Jupp Heynckes in 2013, who won the treble with FC Bayern. This prize was first introduced in 2010.