Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Borussia Dortmund counterpart Erling Haaland are both among the 11-player shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award for 2021, while Manuel Neuer and former Bayern tactician Hansi Flick are also respectively in the running in the goalkeeper and coach categories.
Last year, Lewandowski was the recipient of the prestigious annual honour bestowed by world football’s governing body on the best player in the men’s game. That was in large part due to his unparalleled efforts in helping Bayern to a sextuple triumph while scoring 55 goals across all competitions.
The 33-year-old has not eased up since then, setting a new 41-goal record in a single Bundesliga campaign in 2020/21, while he has also found the net 24 times in 18 outings for Bayern this season alone.
Watch: Lewandowski's top 5 goals for Bayern
Haaland may be currently sidelined with injury, but the Norwegian is also fully deserving of his place among the nominees.
The youngest player among all the candidates, the 21-year-old struck nine times in six Bundesliga appearances this season before being forced into the treatment room, while his overall record at BVB stands at an astonishing 69 goals in 70 games.
Watch: All of Haaland's Bundesliga goals this season
Neuer, meanwhile, is one of five players in the goalkeeping category and will be looking to retain his title as The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper won in 2020. Flick’s work at steering Bayern to back-to-back Bundesliga titles, among others, and his winning start to life in the Germany hotseat is recognised with a spot in the coaching category.
The three finalists in each category will be announced in early January 2022.