When the Ballon D’or was controversially cancelled earlier this year, Bayern Munich fans were disappointed. After the Bavarians had one of the all-time great club seasons, fans, and players were looking forward to gaining some recognition — Robert Lewandowski and Hansi Flick big favorites for the top awards. However, with the cancellation of the Ballon D’or, FIFA’s “The Best” awards became the premier football awards of 2020. And, the nominees for the various awards were just released by FIFA.
In the Goalkeeper section, Manuel Neuer is one of five nominated. The German was an absolute (Man)wall for the Bavarian’s throughout the season and one of the heroes of Bayern’s Champions League victory through his ethereally cultured sweeper keeping finesse. A (deserved) win here would signal a return to best in the business for a player who was recently written off.
As for the managers, Hansi Flick is both nominated and the heavy favorite to win coach of the year. The German led Bayern to five major trophies in his first ever year in a top flight job. Make no mistake, Flick’s past season should go down as one of the greatest managerial seasons in history, anything less than a victory here would be a robbery and would represent small flick energy from the award organizers.
Finally, to cap off Bayern’s nominees, Robert Lewandowski is up for best player in the world. The Pole’s challengers include Kevin de Bruyne and Cristiano Ronaldo — but if there’s any credibility to these awards, Lewandowski will convincingly win.
Former Bayern star Thiago Alcantara was also nominated for the award, despite having an inferior season to at least four other Bayern players. The magical midfielder was still great, no doubt, but one can’t help but wonder if his new status as a Liverpool player played any part in his nomination.
However, while there is a decent chance that Bayern personnel sweep the main three awards of the night, some Bayern players will feel aggrieved to have been overlooked.
Namely Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich — neither of which were listed among the ten nominees for best in the world despite being cornerstones of an historic Bayern treble winning team. According to FIFA, players like Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk, Thiago all had better seasons. Out of the ten nominees, four are currently Liverpool players, only one plays for the far superior Bayern.
Award ceremonies haven’t been kind to Bayern in the past, with limited nominations in recent years and countless unfair results (e.g., 2013 — Franck Ribery). Müller and Kimmich snubs reinforce the recent history of Bayern players being unfairly treated at these international award ceremonies. Personally, I think their omissions are a disgrace of the highest magnitude, hopefully Bayern players won’t continue to be overlooked time and time again in the future? But after the astounding season’s the German duo just had, and them still not even being nominees, this seems unlikely.