Lewandowski wins FIFA player of the year; Liverpool quartet in team of year
Robert Lewandowski has beaten Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to FIFA’s The Best men’s player award.
Lewandowski enjoyed a stunning campaign in front of goal for Bayern Munich in 2019-20. He scored 55 goals in 47 games as his side won the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League.
Many expected the striker to win the award ahead of Barcelona’s Messi and Juventus’ Ronaldo, widely considered the two greatest players of their generation.
Messi and Ronaldo have dominated individual awards across their careers, but Lewandowski was a class above in 2020.
The Poland international described his victory as “unbelievable” and “incredible”.
He said: “I feel fantastic. I am very proud and happy to be honest this is a great day for me, and also for my club and colleagues.
“This award also belongs to my colleagues, the coach and Bayern Munich in general. It is an incredible feeling, a lot of emotions.
“If you win such an award and share that title with Messi and Ronaldo, that is unbelievable and it means so much to me.
“A long time ago, I remember I was longing for something like this and now I can win such and award. This really means, regardless of where you come form, all that matters is what you put into it.
“For the entire world this year was difficult, the greatest highlight was winning the Champions League final – such a special day and evening, that was an incredible feeling. That was a great moment.
“Then we won the cup and got every title we could possibly win. We have a great coach, great team and we all work towards one goal.”
Liverpool, Man City stars in team of year
Meanwhile, four Liverpool players were named in the FIFPRO men’s world XI in recognition of their stellar 2019-20 season.
Goalkeeper Alisson Becker and defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk were selected in the lineup of the best players in the world.
Midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who joined the Reds from Bayern Munich in the summer, was also chosen after winning the Champions League with his former club.
Three of his former Bayern teammates – Alphonso Davies, Joshua Kimmich and Lewandowski – were also in the lineup.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne also made the cut. The lineup was completed by Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, as well as Messi and Ronaldo.
FIFPRO world XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Ramos, Davies, Kimmich, De Bruyne, Thiago, Messi, Lewandowski, Ronaldo.
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Meanwhile, Manuel Neuer beat Liverpool’s Alisson to the award for Best Goalkeeper. Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak also missed out on the prize.
Neuer was back to his best as Bayern Munich won the Champions League in 2020. Despite Alisson being named in the team of the year instead of him, the German won the individual award for goalkeepers.
Bronze wins women’s award
Elsewhere, England full-back Lucy Bronze won the award for Best Women’s Player. She is the first English player to have done so.
Sarina Wiegman, who will become England women’s manager next year, was awarded the Best Women’s Coach award for her work with the Netherlands.
Sarah Bouhaddi of Lyon won the award for best women’s goalkeeper.
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