Sunday 26 December 2021, 10:00

The Best: Candidates in stats

The moment of truth is fast approaching, with the cream of world football set to be crowned at The Best FIFA Football Awards™ on 17 January. As we wait to find out who will succeed the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Lucy Bronze and Jurgen Klopp, brings you some remarkable statistics achieved by candidates in the various categories.

41 - With 41 goals in the 2020/21 Bundesliga season, Robert Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller’s previous record of 40, which had stood for 49 years. The Polish star, who was named The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2020, ended the season with 48 goals in all competitions, breaking the 40-goal-a-season mark for the sixth consecutive year.

20 - Erling Haaland scored his 20th goal in the Champions League in March 2021 in only his 14th appearance in the competition. By comparison, it took Harry Kane, the previous record holder, ten more games to reach the same milestone. 9 - Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy kept the most clean sheets in a debut season in the Champions League by not conceding in nine games.

The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper nominees

23 - Sarina Wiegman steered the Netherlands to the quarter-finals of this year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Tokyo. Despite bowing out earlier than she had hoped, the current England head coach succeeded in making the Oranje the highest scoring side at the tournament with 23 goals.

9 - Lionel Messi was by far the most influential player in Argentina's triumph at the Copa America 2021. La Pulga netted four times and made five assists, giving him a hand in nine of the 12 goals La Albiceleste scored en route to their first continental title since 1993.

30 - In scoring twice against Bruges on 7 December 2021, Kylian Mbappe racked up his 30th and 31st Champions League goals. That feat made the PSG striker, at 22 years and 352 days, the youngest player in the competition’s history to reach the 30-goal mark, ahead of Lionel Messi (23 years and 131 days).

111 - With his brace against the Republic of Ireland during a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifier on 1 September, Cristiano Ronaldo became the all-time top scorer in international football history with 111 goals, two more than the previous record held by IR Iran's Ali Daei.

10 - During her country's maiden participation in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament at Tokyo 2020, Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema broke the record for the most goals scored in a single edition by netting ten times in just four matches.

48 - Sam Kerr’s goal in Australia’s 4-3 defeat to USA in the bronze medal match at Tokyo 2020 made her the Matildas’ all-time leading scorer with 48 goals in just 99 appearances. The previous record belonged to Lisa De Vanna (47 goals, 150 internationals).

48 - With her hat-trick in England's mammoth victory over Latvia in FIFA Women’s World Cup™ qualifying last month, Ellen White became her country’s all-time leading scorer with 48 goals, two more than previous record holder Kelly Smith.

3 - Under the stewardship of Pep Guardiola, Manchester City not only won their third English Premier League title in 2021 but also reached the final of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club’s history. Along the way the Citizens strung together 21 consecutive wins in all competitions, a record for a club in the English top-flight.

2 - In reaching the Champions League final with Chelsea (triumphing 1-0 over Manchester City), Thomas Tuchel became the first coach to contest two consecutive Champions League finals with two different clubs.

705 - Italian midfielder Jorginho had a dream season in 2021, winning not only the Champions League with Chelsea but also UEFA EURO 2020 with Italy, playing 705 minutes in the latter competition, more than any other outfield player.