The shortlist for the FIFA Best awards for 2020 are on the verge of being released and there are a bevvy of Bayern Munich players nominated throughout all of the categories involved. Bayern and Germany legend Lothar Matthaus was the first player ever to have won FIFA’s Best Player award back in 1991 when it was first implemented. He recently shared his thoughts with FIFA.com about 2020’s awards, and he said that Robert Lewandowski should be the recipient of the men’s Best Player award.
When he was specifically asked about the shortlist for the men’s Best Player award and who should win the honor, Matthaus said: “For me it can only be Robert Lewandowski. It’s clearer than it’s been in recent years. He won every title, scored lots of decisive goals and was top of the scoring charts. He’s got everything you need to give a player this award. Nobody comes close to him, neither in Germany nor in Europe. It would be a miracle if it’s not him. He’s now got qualities that set him apart even more than before. He works for the team and has become a real winner, someone who leads from the front and also tracks back defensively. He’s never been as good as he is now. He lives in a professional way, prepares himself meticulously and is never injured. That’s why it’s remarkable that he plays almost every game, and does so at the highest level.”
Even objectively, it’d be incredibly hard to argue with Matthaus given the absolutely sensational year Lewandowski had en route to another historic treble for Bayern. He scored 34 goals in the Bundesliga, 15 goals in the Champions League, and six goals in the DFB-Pokal. Just about the only mark he fell short of was Gerd Müller’s single season scoring record of 40 goals, but he could already be on pace to get close again this season having already scored 12 goals from nine match weeks, having been rested for one of them in Bayern’s 2-1 win over FC Köln at the end of October.
Elsewhere at Bayern, Matthaus said that he feels Manuel Neuer should also be named the world’s best goalkeeper by FIFA after the season he had. Not to mention, he’s been in absolutely sensational form so far this season as well.
“After Lewandowski, I think Neuer should even be in the podium places for The Best Award. Manuel has played fantastically well. He absolutely deserves to be crowned as the world’s best goalkeeper,” Matthaus said.
Even with the perception that there may be a bit of a Bayern bias from Matthaus, he said that, objectively, Hansi Flick should be the recipient of the Best Coach award for everything he’s achieved in 2020.
Speaking of the Bayern manager, Matthaus said, “He overcame what was a difficult situation straight away in his first season in charge. He brought a sense of calm and success, and integrated young players. It’s not always only about the titles you win, but also about the way you deal with the team. The dominance Bayern have shown both domestically and in Europe, their attacking style of play with lots of goals and new records, really is very impressive. Taking nothing away from the achievements of the other coaches, one was just a bit more successful. And that was Flick.”