Chile’s Christiane Endler was named The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper on Monday, beating out Canada’s Stephanie Labbe and Germany’s Ann-Katrin Berger.
Endler, the first South American to win the award, played for Paris Saint-Germain before transferring to Olympique Lyonnais. She helped PSG win the French title, conceding just four goals along the way.
Labbe was with Sweden’s FC Rosengard before switchng to PSG in late August. The 35-year-old from Stony Plain, Alta., has won 85 caps for Canada with 43 clean sheets, helping Canada to Olympic gold last summer in Tokyo
A rib injury forced Labbe out of Canada’s opening game against host Japan at the Olympics. Ultimately the verdict was she could continue playing, albeit in pain. Labbe missed just one game, returning to lead Canada to penalty shootout wins over Brazil in the quarterfinal and Sweden in the final.
Berger and the Chelsea women, whose roster includes Canadian international Jessie Fleming, won the domestic treble in 2021 – the FA Women’s Super League title, FA Cup and League Cup. The Blue lost 4-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League final.
Sweden’s Hedvig Lindahl (Atletico de Madrid Femenino) and American Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) were also nominated but did not make the final three.
Senegal’s Edouard Mendy (Chelsea) was named The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper over Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain), and Germany’s Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich).
Brazil’s Alisson Becker (Liverpool) and Denmark’s Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City) had also been shortlisted for the award.
Two other Canadians – Bev Priestman (Best Coach) and Christine Sinclair (Best Women’s Player) – were nominated for FIFA Awards in November but did not make the final three list.
Chelsea’s Emma Hayes was named top women’s coach.
Sinclair did receive a lifetime achievement award – The Best FIFA Special Award for Women’s Football.
The winners were decided by an international jury comprising national team coaches and captains around the globe, one specialist journalist from each territory represented by a national team, and fans via an online poll on FIFA.com.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2022.