By pipping the usual winners of football’s individual awards, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, to the 2020 edition of The Best FIFA Men’s Player, Robert Lewandowski was given recognition for a truly outstanding year. The winner by a clear margin in a vote of media representatives and national team coaches and captains, Lewandowski was rewarded, aged 32, for his record of 47 goals in 44 games for club and country, making him the top goalscorer across the calendar year for any European top-flight club. In an era dominated by Messi and Ronaldo, the award represents deserved acclaim for Lewandowski, who has been the leading scorer for his team – first Borussia Dortmund and then Bayern Munich – in every season between 2011 and 2020. His fine form has extended into 2021, too.
Bayern head coach Hansi Flick is under no illusions about the striker’s value to his team. “Lewy is, on one side, very important on the pitch,” Flick said. “But also, he is in the inner circle of the squad. He is a very important player whose point of view truly counts.”