The Spain and Barcelona midfielder has been instrumental to her teams’ success at both club and international level, helping Barça set numerous records on its way to winning the Spanish league, Champions League and Copa de la Reina in 2021.
On the international stage, Spain won every game in 2021 and, remarkably, didn’t concede a single goal.
The Poland and Bayern Munich striker scored 43 Bundesliga goals in 2021, breaking Gerd Muller’s 49-year record of most goals scored in a calendar year.
Lewandowski was thought to be the frontrunner for the Ballon d’Or award, but surprisingly lost out to Paris Saint-Germain’s Messi back in November.
It was a good evening all round for Chelsea, which had Emma Hayes scoop up the Women’s Coach of the Year award and Thomas Tuchel win the Men’s Coach of the Year prize.
Chelsea Women won the league and cup double and reached the Champions League final under Hayes, while Tuchel guided the men’s team to Champions League glory last season.
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was crowned the Best Men’s Goalkeeper, while Chile Women’s captain and Lyon star Christiane Endler won the women’s award.
Cristiano Ronaldo was honored with a special award for becoming the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football.
The Manchester United forward reached 115 goals for Portugal, surpassing the previous record of 109 set by Iran legend Ali Daei.
“It’s a dream [to set the record],” Ronaldo said at the ceremony. “First of all, I have to say thank you to my teammates, especially the national team during the last 20 years.
“I never thought I would beat that record, to score 115 [goals]. I’m so proud, it’s a special award from FIFA, an organization I respect a lot.”
Former Tottenham midfielder Erik Lamela won the Puskas Award for the Goal of the Year for his stunning rabona strike against Arsenal in the North London Derby.