Lewandowski hopes to break Messi and Ronaldo’s monopoly as the ‘best’ in the world | Football news


BERLIN: Robert Lewandowski is confident he will be named FIFA’s best men’s footballer on Thursday on the strength of his 55 goals to help Bayern Munich win the treble last season.
Polish striker Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are shortlisted in the men’s category for the FIFA “The Best” awards.
“We were the best, there’s no doubt about it,” Lewandowski said Wednesday ahead of the online ceremony at FIFA headquarters in Zurich.
After a season “when you scored a lot of goals and won everything, I don’t think there’s anyone I can compare myself to,” the 32-year-old added confidently.
His goals helped Bayern win Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League trophies in 2019/20 as top scorer in all three competitions.
Lewandowski has already been named Footballer of the Year for Germany and Europe.
Croatian Luka Modric, voted FIFA’s ‘best’ male footballer in 2018, is the only player to break Ronaldo and Messi’s dominance since 2008.
Ronaldo has been voted player of the year five times, one less than Messi.
Can the Polish forward – whom his teammate Thomas Mueller has dubbed “LewanGOALski” – break the mold?
“There is no one who deserves it as much as Robert,” said Bayern boss Hansi Flick, who is shortlisted for Coach of the Year alongside Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.
Bayern captain Manuel Neuer – who, along with Jan Oblak and Alisson Becker, is in the running for the best men’s goalkeeper award – said Lewandowski was “unique”.
“I’m really happy to have him on my squad – and not have to play against him,” Neuer joked.
The winners of the different categories will be determined by the votes of the captains and head coaches of all national teams, as well as more than 200 media representatives, while fans can also vote.
England’s Lucy Bronze, Chelsea’s Pernille Harder and French defender Wendie Renard are up for the women’s award.
However, Bayern players are all too aware of the dangers of hoping.
Former Munich winger Franck Ribery collapsed in 2013 – when Bayern also won the treble – to have been elected third behind Ronaldo and Messi.
A year later, Neuer had to settle for third place behind the superstars despite outstanding performances to help Germany win the 2014 World Cup.
Lewandowski scored in Bayern’s 8-2 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals in August with Messi on the losing side.
A footballer from a Bundesliga club has never been voted the best player in the world.
Lothar Matthaeus, the only German named FIFA World Player of the Year, was at Inter Milan when he achieved the feat in 1991.
Lewandowski would not be surprised if Messi wins it again on Thursday, adding: “We will have to wait 100 years until someone like him is born again”.

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