Thomas Tuchel has been named The Best FIFA Men’s Coach and Emma Hayes The Best FIFA Women’s Coach at The Best FIFA Awards 2021 ceremony in Zurich on Monday night.
Congratulations to them both. Tuchel beat off competition from Roberto Mancini and Pep Guardiola for his honour, after a year in which we won the Champions League and the Super Cup. His managerial expertise and tactical nous transformed the Chelsea team following his arrival last January, and he has truly re-established the Blues as a European force to be reckoned with.
‘Well it was a pretty normal day so far,' said Tuchel on hearing the announcement. 'I am at the training centre, we have just come from training because we have a game tomorrow but now you open the envelope and said my name which is a bit surreal and I am overwhelmed. I actually feel uncomfortable.
‘I am enjoying the journey and enjoying the club. In the moment it is a good fit and the company on this journey is so good.'
‘I am grateful to have such supportive people around me and to feel so good in such a competitive club. We lost to Manchester City in the league but in other competitions we follow our goals still. We try to be the best versions of ourselves and compete on the highest level.
‘Big congratulations to Emma and all her staff and the Women’s team. They are doing an amazing job. We are in a competitive club and I think she is as proud as me to be part of it. We try to contribute as much as possible.’
In 2021 Hayes continued to add to her outstanding record as Chelsea Women manager by taking the team to new heights by winning every domestic trophy going in the year – the Women’s Super League, the FA Cup and the Continental Cup - and for the first time in the club’s history a Chelsea side reached the Women’s Champions League final. In the WSL they achieved a record-breaking 32-game unbeaten streak.
On a personal level, she was awarded an OBE for her services to football in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.
Hayes was named WSL Manager of the Season for 2020/21 and was inducted into the FA WSL Hall of Fame. During the summer she also earned acclaim for her expert analysis as a television pundit during the Euro 2020 tournament.
On her latest accolade, her Best FIFA Award, she said: 'I'm completely shocked. I put it down to the players, the fantastic people that represent my work. Ultimately the coach is only as good as the people they have around them and I've got brilliant, brilliant people at Chelsea that have helped to support the team to the place we are at.'
She beat Lluis Cortes (Spain and FC Barcelona) and Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands, Dutch national team and English national team) to the FIFA award.
Chelsea Women striker Sam Kerr was one of the three nominations for the Best Women's Player Award but came second in the voting to Barcelona's Alexia Putellas.
The Best FIFA Awards are given to the outstanding players in women’s and men’s football as voted for by an international jury respectively comprising the current coaches of all women’s/men’s national teams (one per team), the current captains of all women’s/men’s national teams (one per team), one specialist journalist from each territory represented by a national team and fans registered on FIFA.com.