It’s hard to find people that genuinely feel Robert Lewandowksi should not have won the Ballon d’Or this year. France Football’s decision to scrap the award altogether because of the fact that Ligue 1 wasn’t able to have a full, proper season due to the coronavirus pandemic was met with a lot of justified criticism. With the year Lewandowski had, having the highest scoring tallies of his career, there’s no sane reason he wouldn’t of won it had it not been scrapped.
Even Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold said Lewandowski not getting the honor was “unjust” in his interview for Goal’s “Top 50” list, in which he was #14. “That was probably a bit unjust. He was destined for that. I’m sure he’ll be disappointed because not many players in this era can say they’ve won it except for those two (referring to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo),” the right back said when asked how he felt about Lewandowski not winning the Ballon d’Or.
Still, though, Alexander-Arnold knows that the Polish ace is well aware of the year he’s had for himself, especially after clinching another historic treble with Bayern Munich and finishing the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and UEFA Champions League as the top scorer. “He knows what he’s achieved, amazing things, so many trophies. His numbers are scary. Over the last 10 years, there’s only really been him and [Luis] Suarez, as strikers, who have come close to [Messi and Ronaldo] in terms of numbers, consistency. Those two have set the boundary so high, scoring 60 a season, so for anyone to even come close to those numbers is an achievement in itself,” the Liverpool defender said.
Of course, Liverpool was one of just a few teams that was able to stifle Lewandowski and Bayern when they won over two legs in the Champions League round of 16 in 2019, but Alexander-Arnold said he still feels the #9 is setting an example for strikers in Europe: “Lewandowski is an unbelievable player, and to be posting those numbers at his age is an amazing achievement. It just shows that footballers are taking it that step further. He’s setting an example for strikers in Europe to try and follow.”
Already this season, Lewandowski has found the back of the net 11 times in the Bundesliga and twice in the Champions League, so he’s on pace for yet another prolific season. Gerd Müller’s record of 40 goals in one Bundesliga season has still evaded Lewandowski, but if there’s anyone that can equal or better that mark, it’s the Polish talisman. Scoring 11 goals from only 7 match days in the league is a mark he met last season as well, but the only difference this season is that he’s only played in 6 of those matches because he was rested for Bayern’s 2-1 win over FC Köln.