The Best FIFA Men's Player

The Best FIFA Men's Player is an association football award presented annually by the sport's governing body, FIFA, to the world's best men's player since 2016.[1] The award was formerly known as the FIFA World Player of the Year, which was merged with France Football's Ballon d'Or in 2010 to become the FIFA Ballon d'Or in a six-year partnership.[2]

The Best FIFA Men's Player
Presented byFIFA
Formerly calledFIFA World Player of the Year (1991–2009)
FIFA Ballon d'Or (2010–2015)
First awarded2016 (2016)
Current holderPoland Robert Lewandowski
(1st award)
Most awardsArgentina Lionel Messi
(6 awards)


In 2010, the FIFA World Player of the Year award combined with the Ballon d'Or to create the FIFA Ballon d'Or in a six-year partnership.[3] FIFA presided over the FIFA Ballon d'Or after agreeing to pay £13million for the merge of the two major player awards with France Football. The six editions of the FIFA Ballon d'Or were dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, as part of their ongoing rivalry. In 2016, the Ballon d’Or again lost its ‘FIFA’ tag and would be voted for exclusively by journalists, while the FIFA World Player of the Year award — which ran from 1991 to 2009 — was resurrected, this time as The Best FIFA Men's Player.[citation needed]

According to reports, FIFA’s decision not to renew the deal was made in order to improve the organization’s strained relationship with England’s FA. This was based on the fact the annual ceremony was held in Zürich – and new FIFA president Gianni Infantino wanted to move the next one to London.[citation needed]

The trophy was designed by Croatian artist Ana Barbić Katičić.[4]

Criteria and voting

The selection criteria for the players of the year are sporting performance, as well as general conduct on and off the pitch.

The votes are decided by media representatives, national team coaches, and national team captains. In October 2016, it was announced that the general public would also be allowed to vote. Each group has 25% of the overall vote.[5]


Year Rank Player Team Votes
2016 1st   Cristiano Ronaldo   Real Madrid 34.54%
2nd   Lionel Messi   Barcelona 26.42%
3rd   Antoine Griezmann   Atlético Madrid 7.53%
2017 1st   Cristiano Ronaldo   Real Madrid 43.16%
2nd   Lionel Messi   Barcelona 19.25%
3rd   Neymar[note 1]   Paris Saint-Germain 6.97%
2018 1st   Luka Modrić   Real Madrid 29.05%
2nd   Cristiano Ronaldo[note 2]   Juventus 19.08%
3rd   Mohamed Salah   Liverpool 11.23%
2019 1st   Lionel Messi   Barcelona 46
2nd   Virgil van Dijk   Liverpool 38
3rd   Cristiano Ronaldo   Juventus 36
2020 1st   Robert Lewandowski   Bayern Munich 52
2nd   Cristiano Ronaldo   Juventus 38
3rd   Lionel Messi   Barcelona 35

Wins by player

Player Winner Second place Third place
  Cristiano Ronaldo 2 (2016, 2017) 2 (2018, 2020) 1 (2019)
  Lionel Messi 1 (2019) 2 (2016, 2017) 1 (2020)
  Luka Modrić 1 (2018)
  Robert Lewandowski 1 (2020)

Wins by country

Country Players Total
  Portugal 1 2
  Argentina 1 1
  Croatia 1 1
  Poland 1 1

Wins by club

Club Players Total
  Real Madrid 2 3
  Barcelona 1 1
  Bayern Munich 1 1

Most FIFA Awards

Player of the Year

Player FIFA World Player
of the Year
FIFA Ballon d'Or The Best
FIFA Men's Player
  Lionel Messi 1 4 1 6
  Cristiano Ronaldo 1 2 2 5
  Ronaldo 3 3
  Zinédine Zidane 3 3
  Ronaldinho 2 2
  Lothar Matthäus 1 1
  Marco van Basten 1 1
  Roberto Baggio 1 1
  Romário 1 1
  George Weah 1 1
  Rivaldo 1 1
  Luís Figo 1 1
  Fabio Cannavaro 1 1
  Kaká 1 1
  Luka Modrić 1 1
  Robert Lewandowski 1 1

See also


  1. ^ Neymar was signed by Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona midway through 2017.
  2. ^ Cristiano Ronaldo was signed by Juventus from Real Madrid midway through 2018.


  1. ^ "The birth of The Best FIFA Football Awards". Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Ballon d'Or and Best FIFA Men's Player awards explained". Sky Sports. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  3. ^ "When are The Best FIFA Football Awards 2016?". Mirror. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  4. ^ I. Ra (27 September 2018). "Hrvatica dizajnirala FIFA trofej: "Uvijek ću pamtiti tren kad ga je Luka digao"". (in Croatian). Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  5. ^ "The fans take centre stage". 31 October 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.

External links