Lewandowski doesn't need Ballon d'Or to prove he's the world's best player

Global Football|December 03, 2021

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Robert Lewandowski should be a Ballon d'Or winner.

There is no doubt about that.

There are arguments whether he should have won it in 2021 but he had to settle for second place behind Lionel Messi as well as for France Football's new Striker of the Year award.

But nobody can doubt that he deserved to win it in 2020, only for the organisers to decide to cancel the award due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Even Messi, the winner of seven Ballons d'Or, admits that the Bayern Munich striker should have won it last year.

"Robert, you deserve your Ballon d’Or. Last year, everyone was in agreement to say that you were the big winner of this award," Messi said after winning the 2021 trophy.

Lewandowski won the Champions League and Bundesliga in 2020 with Bayern Munich, but is arguably playing better in 2021 than he did last year.

Despite winning the Bundesliga again, Bayern could not go as far in Europe, where Lewandowski's absence through injury was apparent as Paris Saint-Germain knocked them out of the Champions League despite the Bavarians creating many more chances over two legs.



Internationally too, Lewandowski's performances with Poland have been impressive, scoring 11 times in 12 games in the past 12 months, including three in three at Euro 2020.

Poland were never realistically expected to compete for the European Championship and Lewandowski did as much as he could for his country, including securing a place in the World Cup play-offs as they finished behind England in qualifying.

Being overlooked for the Ballon d'Or in 2021 will not cause the 33-year-old any sleepless nights, with legendary Bayern Munich midfielder Lothar Matthaus saying he has already moved on to his next target: Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern travel to Dortmund on Saturday for Der Klassiker and a win for the visitors would move them four points clear of their title rivals.

"Lewandowski is always motivated. I'm sure he's not happy with the result in Paris. But he's very professional," Matthaus said.

"I have never seen someone more professional than Robert Lewandowski. He will not think on Saturday about the Ballon d'Or. He will think about his team, his club, to play a good game against Dortmund, score goals and win three points."

Lewandowski leads the goalscoring charts in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League again this season, which marks him out as an early contender for next year's Ballon d'Or.

Win both of those again and it could be hard for next year's voters to look elsewhere, despite a World Cup on the horizon.

47 goals in 2020. 64 goals in 2021.No Ballon d'Or.Spare a thought for Robert Lewandowski 💔 pic.twitter.com/yeYIVJ3VU9

International success with Poland is all but impossible despite the goals he provides, leaving Matthaus at a loss about what more Lewandowski could do to be named the world's best player.

"Lewandowski was playing at the highest level in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League, as top scorer, playing great games, breaking records," Matthaus said.

"What more has he to do? But the journalists who make the decision decided on Messi and for that we have to congratulate Messi. But for me, Robert Lewandowski was the best player in 2021."

All Lewandowski can do is keep scoring goals to keep himself in the conversation for the 2022 Ballon d'Or.

His former team-mate Jerome Boateng agrees, believing that Lewandowski will now want to score even more goals.

"It won't knock him down, but it has certainly been a big disappointment for him. But the way I got to know him, it will only motivate him further," Boateng told GOAL.

"He will continue to attack, I am sure of that. His statistics alone in the season so far are unbelievable."

Lewandowski will simply move on to the next victim and the next record.

A goal against Borussia Dortmund would equal Klaus Fischer's record of 117 away goals in the Bundesliga.

They're also the team he has scored most often against, with 24 goals against his former club in all competitions.

He doesn't need a trophy to prove he is the world's best player.

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