FIFA The Best winners all-time: Every player, coach to win in history of football award

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FIFA’s The Best awards were held for a seventh time in 2023, with some of the most recognizable players in the world in the men’s and women’s game honored for their contributions to football.

The ceremony, which took place in Paris, France, saw the best men’s and women’s player from the previous year crowned, alongside awards for the best goalkeeper and coach for both men’s and women’s football. In addition, the scorer of the best goal from the calendar year was handed the prestigious Puskas Award.

The nominees for the eighth The Best FIFA Football Awards were announced on September 14, 2023, and FIFA confirmed the final nominees for each category in December. The awards ceremony will be held on January 15, 2024 in London, UK.

The Best awards series, handed out since 2016, now features seven major prizes given out at the event, with each detailed below including the most recent winners. 

MORE: Ballon d’Or 2022 winners, rankings and full results

What are FIFA The Best awards?

The Best FIFA Football Awards have been handed out since 2017 (with the 2016 season being the first under consideration), making them a relatively recent phenomenon.

In the past, FIFA partnered with France Football to hand out the more popular Ballon d’Or award, but that partnership ended in 2016, and FIFA embarked on its own set of awards for the top players and coaches in the sport.

The Ballon d’Or has been around since 1956, and FIFA has work to do to establish the prestige of The Best awards in comparison, but they are still considered top-level trophies since they are tied directly to the football governing body.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award

The men’s The Best award is the most popular that FIFA hands out, with much anticipation and speculation over the eventual winner. The award has been won by a forward in each year except one, with Luka Modric also tabbed as the winner in 2018 alongside his Ballon d’Or victory.

2023 finalists: Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi

Previous winners

Year Player Club Nation
2022 Lionel Messi PSG Argentina
2021 Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich Poland
2020 Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich Poland
2019 Lionel Messi Barcelona Argentina
2018 Luka Modric Real Madrid Croatia
2017 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Portugal
2016 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Portugal

The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper Award

The best goalkeeper award, which wasn’t handed out in 2016 but debuted in 2017, identifies the best shot stopper in the world.

2023 finalists: Yassine Bounou, Thibaut Courtois, Ederson.

Previous winners

Year Player Club Nation
2022 Emiliano Martinez Aston Villa Argentina
2021 Edouard Mendy Chelsea Senegal
2020 Manuel Neuer Bayern Munich Germany
2019 Alisson Liverpool Brazil
2018 Thibaut Courtois Chelsea/Real Madrid Belgium
2017 Gianluigi Buffon Juventus Italy

The Best FIFA Men’s Coach Award

The Best men’s coach prize is handed out every year to the head coach or manager who exemplifies winning and pushes his team to new heights. The inaugural winner, Claudio Ranieri, is a perfect example of what this award is all about, having led Leicester City the previous season to a stunning Premier League title, one of the greatest underdog stories the sport has ever seen.

2023 nominees: Pep Guardiola, Simone Inzaghi, Luciano Spalletti

Previous winners

Year Player Team Nationality
2022 Lionel Scaloni Argentina Argentina
2021 Thomas Tuchel Chelsea Germany
2020 Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Germany
2019 Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Germany
2018 Didier Deschamps France France
2017 Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid France
2016 Claudio Ranieri Leicester City Italy

Carlo Ancelotti celebrates after Real Madrid win the La Liga title

Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Best FIFA Women’s Player Award

On the women’s side, Alexia Putellas became the first two-time award winner after picking up the honour for 2022. 

2023 nominees: Aitana Bonmati, Linda Caceido, Jenni Hermoso

Previous winners

Year Player Club Nation
2022 Alexia Putellas Barcelona Spain
2021 Alexia Putellas Barcelona Spain
2020 Lucy Bronze Lyon/Man City England
2019 Megan Rapinoe Reign FC USA
2018 Marta Orlando Pride Brazil
2017 Lieke Martens Rosengard/Barcelona Netherlands
2016 Carli Lloyd Houston Dash USA

The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper Award

The women’s goalkeeper award started in 2019, a very recent award. Still, there have been some stellar shot-stoppers to be nominated in the past, with 2021 winner Christiane Endler nominated in the first four years of the award’s existence. 

2023 nominees: Mackenzie Arnold, Cata Coll, Mary Earps

Previous winners:

Year Player Club Nation
2022 Mary Earps Manchester United England
2021 Christiane Endler PSG Chile
2020 Sarah Bouhaddi Lyon France
2019 Sari van Veenendaal Arsenal/Atletico Madrid Netherlands

The Best FIFA Women’s Coach Award

The best women’s coach award, like the men’s, recognizes the top manager or head coach in the game over the previous season. The first winner was Germany boss Silvia Neid, who in 2016 led her country to gold at the Olympics that year.

2023 nominees: Jonatan Giraldez, Emma Hayes, Sarina Wiegman

Year Player Team Nationality
2022 Sarina Wiegman England Netherlands
2021 Emma Hayes Chelsea England
2020 Sarina Weigman Netherlands Netherlands
2019 Jill Ellis England USA
2018 Reynald Pedros Lyon France
2017 Sarina Wiegman Netherlands Netherlands
2016 Silvia Neid Germany Germany

FIFA Puskas Award β€” the prize for the best goal

The Puskas Award is given to the individual, men’s or women’s, who scored the best goal of the calendar year. Unlike the other The Best awards, the Puskas Award has been handed out since 2009, originally created as its own standalone award given out each year by FIFA before being absorbed into The Best proceedings.

The award is named after Ferenc Puskas, a legendary Hungarian forward who is regarded as one of the greatest goalscorers of all time, scoring 514 goals across his career with Budapest Honved and Real Madrid.

2023 nominees: Alvaro Barreal vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Linda Caicedo vs. Germany, Julion Enciso vs. Manchester City, Kang Seong-jin vs. Jordan U-20, Sam Kerr vs. England, Brian Lozano vs. America, Guilherme Madruga vs. Novorizontino, Ivan Morante vs. Burgos, Nuno Santos vs. Boavista, Askhat Tagybergen vs. Denmark, Bia Zaneratto vs. Panama.

Previous winners

Year Player Team Match / Goal
2022 Marcin Oleksy Warta Poznan vs. Stal Rzeszow
2021 Erik Lamela Tottenham vs. Arsenal (1-0)
2020 Son Heung-Min Tottenham vs. Burnley (3-0)
2019 Daniel Zsori Debrecen vs. Ferencvaros (2-1)
2018 Mohamed Salah Liverpool vs. Everton (1-0)
2017 Oliver Giroud Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace (1-0)
2016 Mohd Faiz Subri Penang vs. Pahang (4-1)
2015 Wendell Lira Goianesia vs. Atletico Goianiense (1-0)
2014 James Rodriguez Colombia vs. Uruguay (1-0)
2013 Zlatan Ibrahimovic Sweden vs. England (4-2)
2012 Miroslav Stoch Fenerbahce vs. Genclerbirligi (6-1)
2011 Neymar Santos vs. Flamengo (4-5)
2010 Hamit Altintop Turkey vs. Kazakhstan (2-0)
2009 Cristiano Ronaldo Man United vs. Porto (1-0)

FIFA Fan Award

The FIFA Fan Award, which is chosen by a panel of governing-body experts, is given as a celebration of the best moments or gestures by supporters.

In 2022, the winner was a Colon fan who was seen cradling and bottle-feeding his infant son during a match against Barracas Central. The year before, Fran HUrndall was recognised for a charity run in which she dribbled a football for an average of 32 kilometres a day for 32 days from the Gold Coast to Sydney, Australia.

The inaugural winner was Millonarios fan Miguel Angel, who realised his final wish of meeting members of the first-team squad before he passed away following an illness.

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