The Polish marksman had an eventful year to be considered one of the favourites for the award.
After a stellar 2019/2020 season, Robert Lewandowski received recognition from all over the world for his abilities. He was one of the top contenders to win his maiden Ballon d’Or award. However, it was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Polish marksman did not let the setback halt his progress. He came back stronger, breaking Gerd Muller’s long-standing record in the Bundesliga in the next season. After a coveted previous campaign last term, Robert Lewandowski is once again among the top picks to win the Ballon d’Or in 2021.
Here are five reasons why the Poland and Bayern Munich striker deserves to win the award.
5. The 2020 setback
In 2020, Bayern Munich became the only second team in Europe, along with FC Barcelona to win the European Treble twice. The Bavarians won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and the UEFA Champions League. Bayern maintained a 100% win record in their 2020 Champions League campaign, making them the first-ever team to do so.
The main man behind Bayern’s domination in Europe was Robert Lewandowski. His stats were phenomenal in the 2019/20 season. The Polish striker was scoring goals for fun, netting 55 goals in 47 appearances all across Europe. His stellar performances won him plaudits and he was the fan favourite to win the Ballon d’Or. But, the sudden cancellation of the award due to the COVID-19 pandemic was untimely and unjust to Lewandowski. It would only be fair to hand him the Ballon d’Or award that was due.
4. Major trophies won in 2021
Robert Lewandowski had a fruitful 2020/21 season for Bayern Munich. They won the Bundesliga, DFL- Supercup, the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. Lewandowski bagged more trophies as compared to his nearest rival Lionel Messi.
In comparison with Lewandowski and Bayern, Messi with FC Barcelona had an average 2020/21 season, finishing third in the La Liga. They received a thumping from PSG in the round of 16 of the Champions League. Although Messi managed to win the Copa del Rey, he and his side were not at the level of the Polish striker and Bayern Munich.
Although Messi went on to win the Copa America in the summer, many would argue that the South American championship’s significance has faded over the years. There were also arguments from fans and pundits alike that performing admirably in club football could hand Robert Lewandowski an edge over his Argentine counterpart in the race for the Ballon d’Or trophy.
3. Broken records and rippled nets
Robert Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller’s long-standing record of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season in 2020/21. The Bayern Munich target man scored 41 goals in just 29 appearances in the Bundesliga, and he scored 48 goals in 40 appearances across Europe for Bayern.
Along with other honours, Lewandowski also won the European Golden Shoe fending off competition from two of the world’s best in Ronaldo and Messi. These achievements give Robert Lewandowski an edge over others in the Ballon d’Or race.
2. Lewandowski’s 2020/21 season as a whole
The setback of 2020 could not deprive Robert Lewandowski of his great stature. Even though the Polish striker was injured for a prolonged period, it only took him just 29 games to break Gerd Muller’s long-standing record haul of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season.
Lewandowski’s 1.26 goals per game ratio is higher than that of prodigies like Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe. Recently, many fans and pundits alike have admitted Lewandowski’s overall performance in 2021 have outshined that of his nearest rivals.
1. Lewandowski Vs Messi
Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi are being considered among favourites to win the Balon d’Or award in 2021. The Poland international won four major trophies with Bayern last season, including the FIFA Club World Cup. Messi, on the other, won only the Copa Del Rey with Barcelona amidst a below-par performance in the La Liga and the Champions League. But the disappointing season at club level gave way to a successful Copa America campaign with Argentina, ending the country’s 28 years wait for a trophy.
Lewandowski finished as the highest scorer of the Bundesliga last season. He also won the European Golden Shoe in an emphatic manner. Messi was also the top scorer in La Liga. But his tally of 30 goals in 35 appearances is far from Lewandowski’s 41 in 29 games. However, Messi outshined Lewandowski in the International arena as he guided Argentina to the Copa America trophy in the summer. Only time will tell who will come out on top to win the Ballon d’Or in 2021.