Robert Lewandowski

Harder and Lewandowski

Lewandowski and Harder best players, German football wins big at WFSIA

Lewandowski and Harder best players, German football wins big at WFSIA 1194 896 WFS Live

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) is the big winner of the 2020 WFS Industry Awards, presented annually by World Football Summit; where Robert Lewandowski and Pernille Harder also became the inaugural Best Player winners.

The DFL claimed two categories: Best Executive presented by Nolan Partners, awarded to its CEO Christian Seifert, and Best Digital Platform presented by Seven League, awarded to the Bundesliga Match Facts powered by Amazon Web Services.

In addition, one of the Bundesliga’s most iconic players, Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski, outvoted his teammate Joshua Kimmich and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to win Best Male Player presented by As. Danish player Pernille Harder, runner-up in the women’s UEFA Champions League last year with Wolfsburg before joining Chelsea, was named Best Female Player ahead of Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyon) in second and Jenni Hermoso (Barcelona) in third.

As CEO of the DFL, Seifert led the Bundesliga’s successful restart, becoming the first elite football competition to return after the Covid-19 lockdown, setting the standards for many others to follow. 

Seifert beat Helsingor Chairman Jordan Gardner and Larry Freedman, President of Los Angeles FC, to become the fourth executive awarded with this prize after Gustavo Silikovich (former River Plate CEO), Giuseppe Marotta (former Juventus CEO) and Darren Eales (President of Atlanta United).

Spain’s LaLiga was also successful at this year’s awards, with Real Club Celta taking home the prize for the Best Internationalisation Strategy presented by Deloitte and Santander, the league’s main sponsor, being crowned the inaugural winner of the debuting Outstanding Innovation Initiative presented by N3XT Sports category.

The Spanish club, who saw off Mediapro Canada and Asia Pacific Events in the final three, achieved a significant growth in key markets over the past twelve months; boosting its fanbase in strategic areas such as Asia, South America or the United States. 

Santander, the bank of world football, was awarded for ‘Fieeld’, an initiative developed together with its partners LaLiga, CONMEBOL and UEFA to bring blind people closer to the full experience of watching a football match. 

Visa, who has marked its largest investment to date within the women’s game through continued support of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and a multi-year partnership with UEFA, claimed the award for Best Women’s Football Initiative presented by Women in Football, whilst Horizm – a world leading digital asset pricing platform for sports and entertainment – clinched Best Supplier presented by SportsTechX

Other winners saw Asociación Deportivo Cali (Colombia) take home the Best Club Commercial Initiative presented by McCann, the recently inaugurated Allegiant Stadium, the Las Vegas Raiders high-tech field of dreams named Best Venue presented by Mondo Stadia, and Dream a Dream winning the Football for Good presented by Common Goal category. 

The WFS StartCup by GSIC was won by, a French startup aiming to reinvent fan engagement in sport through augmented reality. 

Awards will be handed virtually as part of WFS LIVE, the digital event that will bring the global football community together from November 23-27 to build the industry’s roadmap towards a brighter and more sustainable future for all stakeholders. The closing day will be devoted to honouring the winners, who will take the virtual stage for a 20-minute interview that will be streamed on the WFS LIVE platform.

WFSIA Best Male Player award nominees

WFSIA Best Player nominations: Lewandowski, Messi, Bronze and Harder make final 30

WFSIA Best Player nominations: Lewandowski, Messi, Bronze and Harder make final 30 2560 1440 WFS Live

Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi, Lucy Bronze and Pernille Harder head the 30-strong list of World Football Summit Industry Awards (WFSIA) Best Player nominations released today.

The first ever WFSIA Best Male Player and Best Female Player awards – in partnership with leading Spanish news website AS – saw two 15 long-lists drawn up by some of Spain’s top journalists.

And now, fans will be able to vote for who of those final 30 names they think should take home the award on 16 November – a week ahead of WFS Liveby voting HERE on the AS website.

Final votes will be weighted by 25% of fan nominations and 75% of our jury – made up of football journalists from AS, El País and Cadena Ser.

Three finalists for each Best Player category will be unveiled on 11 November, and the winners revealed five days later.

The Best Player awards were added to this year’s WFSIA – which is already considering 80 vetted candidates from 31 countries all over the world across the other nine categories – in order to celebrate and reward the efforts of players who have helped bring entertainment back into our lives following the global coronavirus pandemic.

As World Football Summit director Jan Alessie put it when the Best Player awards were announced: “We believe that this is a good moment to add to our WFS Industry Awards a category that rewards the work of the players, who are together with the fans the great protagonists of this game and this business.”

Here are the 30 finalists in full:


WFSIA Best Female Player award nominees

Sarah Bouhaddi (Olympique Lyon), Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyon/Manchester City), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash/West Ham), Debinha (North Carolina Courage), Christiane Endler (Paris Saint-Germain), Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg/Chelsea), Jenni Hermoso (FC Barcelona), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars/Chelsea), Dzsenifer Marozsán (Olympique Lyon), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Lena Oberdorf (Essen/Wolfsburg), Sandra Paños (FC Barcelona), Alexia Putellas (FC Barcelona), Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyon), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)


WFSIA Best Player Award nominations

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Sadio Mané (Liverpool), Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)