In a recent interview with Bundesliga.com, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said he shares the popular opinion that both Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer should win FIFA’s “best” awards for best player and goalkeeper, respectively.
Both players have made the star-studded short lists in their respective departments and the interview with Rummenigge comes just days after Bayern and Germany legend Lothar Matthaus voiced the same opinion in an official interview with FIFA.com. In the interview, Rummenigge also spoke about Hansi Flick and Bayern’s never-say-die mentality.
You’d be hard pressed to find people that don’t feel Lewandowski and Neuer should win FIFA’s best awards, especially after Lewandowski was denied the chance to win the Ballon d’Or this season due to the award being scrapped altogether.
“I hope that Robert wins, he’s had an amazing year, I think Robert Lewandowski is in the form of his life, despite the fact he’s 32 now, but it’s not a foregone conclusion. I would like him to win, I hope he wins, he’ll have earned it, but we’ll have to wait and see if he does win it at the end of the day,” Rummenigge said of Bayern’s prolific number 9.
When speaking about Neuer and just how good he’s been for Bayern, Rummenigge compared the GOATkeeper to a fine wine: “Manuel Neuer is 34 now, and he’s just getting better and better. He’s like a red wine that matures each year. He anticipates pretty much every shot, wherever it comes from, and makes the save. We’ve seen that in the last couple of weeks in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League. He’s the best goalkeeper in the world, I think he’s even the best goalkeeper of all time. We’ve always had good goalkeepers in Germany, at Bayern, when you talk about Sepp Meyer or Oliver Kahn, but I think Manuel Neuer has taken goalkeeping to a new level, and we’re really happy that he’s lining up between the sticks for us.”
Since Hansi Flick took charge of Bayern last November, there has been a relentless winning verve within the squad to the point where you can just never write them off. They put together a sensational run of form en route to another historic treble and Flick has truly struck all the right chords it terms of getting this team to fire on all cylinders and utilizing as much of the personnel as he can. As Rummenigge eluded to, Flick’s work ethic is evident day in and day out and that he always has a very clear sense of direction.
“Firstly, he has quality. Quality in a coach is very important. He has a clear plan. In his daily work, his — ‘daily work’ for me is what happens from Monday to Friday, and then what you see on a Saturday is ideally the result of that — they work really hard every day in training to make the game on Saturday positive and successful. You can see that. From the start he’s had a very clear plan, he found a common thread, an empathy with the team straight away — that was very important, we needed that back. So, what he’s done is all good. It would be nice if we can keep progressing, or even I could say, keep it where we are at the moment.”
The increased ambition within the squad and everyone involved with the club has been a byproduct of Flick taking the helm and Rummenigge said it reminds him of his own playing days at the club back in the 1970s: “I have to say, what has really surprised me and what I find great, is that the level of ambition among us at the moment is as high as it was before. We’re top of the Bundesliga, we’ve qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League early, the team isn’t taking their foot off the gas. The character of the team is - surprisingly, I must say — at a really, really high level.”