Zurich (dpa) – champions, DFB Cup winners, Champions League winners. Top scorer in all three competitions, plus success in the German and European Supercups. The world football player of 2020 must be Robert Lewandowski. Really.
Because in the election of the FIFA world association, the results of which will be announced on Thursday (7 p.m.), it is not always the sporting successes that decide – and that speaks more to the star players of FC Bayern Munich.
“If you’ve scored a lot of goals and won everything, there’s probably no one I can compare myself to,” said the 32-year-old FIFA. But its rivals, Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus Turin), are the superstars of their generation. Especially for the millions of fans worldwide, whose votes make up a quarter of the result, the glamor of the long careers of the multiple election winners could have surpassed an exceptional year like Lewandowski’s.
His trainer Hansi Flick, the three-time world coach’s favorite in freestyle, knows how much Lewandowski wants the prize. This is “his dream,” said the 55-year-old, who faced Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool FC) and Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds United) in the elections that ended December 9. “There is no one who deserves it this year. We would all be happy if the election falls on him on Thursday.”
The coaches and captains of the World Association’s 211 national teams and selected journalists also had the right to vote. The voices of the four groups have the same weight regardless of their size. “Robert Lewandowski: the striker”, “Cristiano Ronaldo: the regular guest” and “Lionel Messi: the guarantor”, FIFA wrote about the three profiles of the finalists.
Ronaldo was eliminated with Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League. Messi, whose change request determined Corona’s transfer summer, had conceded the humiliating 2: 8 in the quarter-finals against FC Bayern with Barcelona. “Robert would have earned it this year,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Munich CEO. And Lewandowski said, “It would be a unique feeling and a prize for the whole team. We were the best, no doubt about that.”
The past year has shown that that alone is not enough. Dutchman Virgil van Dijk was considered a logical choice after Liverpool’s great year with the premier class victory, but then Messi received his sixth award. Ronaldo, who sometimes didn’t even go to prom when he finished second or third, is five. Since 2008, there has been only one other winner of the election, which was held in different formats: Ronaldo’s then-teammate Luka Modrić (Real Madrid) won in 2018.
National goalkeeper Manuel Neuer can hope to be awarded world goalkeeper alongside the Brazilian Alisson of Liverpool FC and the Slovenian Jan Oblak of Atlético Madrid. The German national player Dzsenifer Marozsán of Olympique Lyon missed the top three in the ladies’ category. Either the former Wolfsburg Pernille Harder from Sweden (Chelsea FC), the English Lucy Bronze from Manchester City or the French Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyon) is chosen.