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Robert Lewandowski was voted World Footballer of the Year on Thursday.

The Bayern Munich striker received more votes at the virtual FIFA gala than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who were also among the last three nominees.

Lewandowski first received the so-called Best FIFA Men's Player award, an award that was pulled apart from the 2016 Golden Ball election.

He succeeds Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo won the prize in 2016 and in 2017. Luka Modric came first in 2018.

In addition, Lewandowkski is the first Pole to call himself World Footballer of the Year, after his fellow countrymen Kazimierz Deyna (third in 1974) and Zbigniew Boniek (third in 1982) were already close to winning the Golden Ball.

32-year-old Lewandowski had an extremely successful 2020 with Bayern Munich, which won the league title, the DFB-Pokal, the German Supercup, the Champions League and the European Supercup.

He has scored thirty times in the Bundesliga and eight times in the Champions League.

Virgil van Dijk initially also had a chance to win the title World Footballer of the Year.

The captain of the Dutch national team, who has been eliminated for months due to a knee injury, was among the first ten nominees, but did not survive the last selection.

Photo series: the winners of the FIFA gala

Best goalkeeper in men's football: Manuel Neuer © Pro Shots

Best goalkeeper in women's football: Sarah Bouhaddi © Pro Shots

Best coach in men's football: Jürgen Klopp © Pro Shots

Best coach in women's football: Sarina Wiegman © Pro Shots

Puskas Award: Son Heung-min © Pro Shots

Dutch success at FIFA gala

Van Dijk was included in the team of the year.

The same was true for Vivianne Miedema among women.

Sarina Wiegman was named the best coach in women's football for the second time.

Lucy Bronze was voted World Football Player of the Year.

The Manchester City defender was preferred over Pernille Harder (Chelsea) and Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyon).

Miedema also dropped out in the last selection.

The winners of the FIFA's Best Awards are determined by the votes of the national team captains, national team coaches, fans and journalists.

This year the gala was co-presented by Ruud Gullit.

The Golden Ball will not be awarded this year for the first time since 1956.

Organizer France Football believes that due to the corona crisis, it is not possible to paint a representative picture of who the best football players of this year are.

See also: Wiegman again named best coach in the world in women's football