Bayern Munich’s striker Robert Lewandowski was famously robbed of another Ballon d’Or in 2021, but has received several other awards for his individual performance this year. Most recently, the Polish international was named to French publication L’Equipe’s 2021 World XI. Funny enough though, Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi was not even named into their World XI.
The full World XI from L’Equipe looks like: Edouard Mendy, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Marquinhos, Ruben Dias, Theo Hernandez, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski. There was just one Bayern Munich player on the entire list, who was the only Bundesliga player named by L’Equipe. The majority of love was shown to the Champions League finalists: Manchester City and Chelsea FC.
Name a footballer that works harder than Robert Lewandowski...— GOAL (@goal) January 4, 2022
We'll wait. pic.twitter.com/VJDNqkUXYL
Certainly, some questionable selections on this list and it really makes you think of what the ideal annual individual awards should look like. The best XI can sometimes be unfair when the second-best striker in the world that year could be the second-best player in the world that year and still be excluded. On the other hand, there are a number of issues with the Ballon d’Or award but it is still widely regarded as the most respected individual award in the sport. When a writer from Luxembourg votes Raheem Sterling first on their list, it is no surprise why the award loses its reputation.
With so many different organizations within the sport, maybe individual awards will never be flawless. In such a team sport, evaluating the effectiveness of one player would never be easy with so many different leagues. Regardless, congratulations to our very own Robert Lewandowski on another much deserved award for an excellent performance in 2021.