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Bayern Munich, “The Best” awards and the treble that didn’t matter

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First the Ballon d’Or, then Phonzie’s Golden Boy award, and now this. The disrespect is incredible.

SC Paderborn 07 - Bavaria Munich, Germany Photo by David Inderlied/picture alliance via Getty Images

Let me just make one thing very clear before we get started. If you’re here for a perfectly balanced take, with reasonable outlooks on the results of today’s FIFA The Best awards, then you’re in the wrong place. This is a Bayern Munich fan on a Bayern Munich blog, and I am livid right now. So expect a rant. Let’s get started.

The Best Coach — Not actually the best

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock lately, you should know that Bayern Munich is the best team in the world right now. Everyone knows it. In 2020, we won every trophy possible, won every single game in our Champions League-winning campaign, and lost only once in a calendar year. All that is down to the efforts of one single man — Hansi Flick.

Yet here we are, in December, and FIFA decides their Coach of the Year award should go to Jurgen Klopp. Yes, Liverpool Football Club boss Jurgen Klopp, who won nothing outside the Premier League, and got knocked out of the UCL Ro16 by a team that Bayern Munich thrashed by 4 goals a few months later. Let’s get this straight — Hansi Flick was ROBBED. How can any of the people involved in the selection process think this was acceptable?

Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Final
This thing doesn’t matter according to FIFA’s voters.
Photo by Matt Childs/Pool via Getty Images

It was already a joke when Marcelo Bielsa was nominated for the top 3, while only winning the English Football Championship. As we saw in Europe last season, English football isn’t that special. Since when does winning a literal second-tier league get you on the podium with a treble winner? It might have been acceptable if the nomination was just paying lip service, and Hansi finally won the award like everyone thought he would. But no, that’s not what happened.

Let me just remind you that there was a time when people thought Bayern Munich were finished. Around October last year, when Kovac was fired, people thought our reign at the top of Europe was over. The players were too old, the club was outdated, the squad didn’t have the talent to really compete with the amazing modern football of Liverpool and Manchester City. All that changed when Hansi Flick took over. He revitalized this team, squeezing more life out of it than anyone thought possible.

You can’t claim that he was carried by his players, because Kovac had the same players and didn’t get anywhere. And he did all of that — for what exactly? It’s not like Klopp deserved it as a lifetime achievement award either. To rub salt in the wound, he won The Best award last year too ... for winning the Champions League, same as Flick. Hell, his UCL win was worse than Flick’s, Bayern didn’t lose or draw a game. And we won the Bundesliga, Pokal, UEFA Super Cup, and DFB Supercup on top.

If this doesn’t scream bias, I don’t know what will.

The Best Goalkeeper — Not in the World XI

Now that I’ve covered the atrocity that was FIFA’s coaching award, let’s look at the Best XI for the year.

Notice someone missing? Maybe that would be FIFA’S OWN CHOICE OF BEST KEEPER. How did Manuel Neuer not make the XI? Why are there only four Bayern players from a treble-winning team? Why does Kevin De Bruyne get in ahead of Thomas Muller, who’s had a far better year and won many more trophies playing in the same position?

In fact, I’d venture to say that if Thiago hadn’t moved to Liverpool in the summer, he wouldn’t be in the World XI. They would have given it to literally anyone else. Congratulations to Phonzie for being the first Canadian to be in the XI, but let’s not forget that he was robbed too.

A treble at 19 — but no Golden Boy

Earlier in the year, Erling Haaland actually won the European Golden Boy award, the award for the best young player of the year, over Alphonso Davies. I ranted about that back then too.

If Phonzie played for any team other than Bayern, he would have won that award. He actually came second after Ansu Fati, who’s done literally nothing so far outside of a few good performances. Haaland was great, but Davies won A TREBLE. This little kid from Canada, in his first full season in Europe, came in and conquered Europe, personally humiliating teams like Barcelona and Chelsea in the process. An incredible story, yet voters chose to ignore it.

No Ballon d’Or for “The Best”

And finally, of course, we talk about the biggest robbery of 2020. The fact that Robert Lewandowski didn’t win the Ballon d’Or this year is a travesty. France Football’s decision to cancel the award is the most baffling thing to come out of that country since French cuisine.

To make matters worse, they got together and organized a vote for Ballon d’Or winners from across the years, apparently just to rub it in Lewandowski’s face. If they could do that, they could bring back the award and vote on Lewy immediately. The pandemic is not an excuse. Just use Zoom or something — it’s literally free. When the award was cancelled, things were admittedly a little bit uncertain — but since then, literally every top league except Ligue 1 restarted without a hitch, and the few remaining fixtures in Ligue 1 wouldn’t have mattered since there were no Ballon d’Or candidates there.

At least he won #TheBest award, I guess.

Do you understand what I’m getting at here? Do you feel the outrage that we Bayern fans feel? Our players gave it their all, and they were ROBBED. How are these professional awards, given out by alleged professional people, so terribly judged?

I cannot understate how infuriating this all is. These are not the Oscars, there is really no room for subjectivity here. How are you making such clownish decisions? After what happened with Franck Ribery in 2013, I never thought I’d see another robbery like that. But now it looks like we’ve walked straight into an even bigger one.

When you look at all the double standards — cases like Modric winning the Ballon d’Or in a year where he was only good for a World Cup he didn’t even win, when Neuer was snubbed in 2014, De Ligt winning a Golden Boy because of Ajax’s European performances while Phonzie not winning it when he won the entire thing, and of course, Ribery’s robbery in 2013, it all becomes too hard to take. When will it end? Bayern won almost every game this year. Our players were monsters. What else can we even do?