In the disclosure of UEFA’s awards for several categories, considering the performance of the last sports season, the great highlight goes to the expected achievement of Robert Lewandowski as Best Player of the Year.
LEWANDOWSKI AHEAD OF DE BRUYNE AND NEUER
The Polish international made the best season of his career in individual terms and was one of the biggest responsible for Bayern Munich’s Champions League conquest.
Virgil Van Dijk’s successor as UEFA Player of the Year is found. After the Dutch central defender won the individual award a year ago following Liverpool’s Champions League victory, it was Robert Lewandowski’s turn to take home the trophy after his team’s triumph in the final of the millionaire competition.
In the dispute for the Best Player category were still the Belgian international Kevin De Bruyne (who failed to help Manchester City go through the quarter-final mark, where they fell to Lyon) and the German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (Lewandowski’s teammate at Bayern).
The Polish international received a total of 477 points in the voting (the process of which is explained below), a mark that far exceeded the 90 points attributed to Kevin De Bruyne and the 66 points of Manuel Neuer.
The Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, who saw his Juventus fall outrageously in the round of 16, being the first major victim of the surprising Lyon, ended up in the 10th position, with only 25 points received after the voting.
Absences equally noted in the final discussion for the Best Player award were those of Lionel Messi and Neymar, who ended up tied in the 4th place of the standings, both with 53 points, announced over a week ago.
PRIZE FAIRLY AWARDED
If the 15 goals scored in 10 matches in the last edition of the Champions League are already a truly fantastic mark, which earned the 32-year-old Polish striker the distinction of best goalscorer of the competition ( with an honorable mention to the 10 goals by Erling Haaland and the 9 by Sèrge Gnabry), what about his overall performance in the season?
55. Yes, you read it well. Robert Lewandowski scored 55 goals in a total of only 47 matches in the general reckoning of his performance regarding the atypical 2019/20 season, where not even the forced interruption by the pandemic stopped the good momentum of the Bayern Munich player.
There are many times when the awarding of UEFA‘s prizes deserves discussion, but I believe that in this particular case there will hardly be any disagreement between football fans and the betting community in general.
At 32 years old, completed last August, Lewandowski reached the best goal mark of his entire career and few have been the times that, over the last decade, the striker finishes a match without scoring a goal in the opposing net.
BAYERN PLAYERS AND COACH HAVE DOMINATED THE REMAINING AWARDS
In the category of Best Coach, in male football, it was Hans-Dieter Flick who took the trophy, after an incredible season, where he won the Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB Pokal, having recently added to his list of trophies the European Super Cup.
The Best Goalkeeper was Manuel Neuer, who curiously was also among the last three nominees for Best Player.
At 34 years old, the German international showed in the demanding stages of the Champions League that he is still at a very high level, having even been one of the key pieces for the Bavarians conquest.
Last but not least, Joshua Kimmich, from Bayern Munich, won the award for Best Defender, despite being also a very used player in the midfield.
But the “Bavarian” dominance in the UEFA awards does not end there.
The exception was the award for Best Midfielder, given to Kevin De Bruyne from Manchester City, where the Belgian has shown an unusual intelligence and class, appropriately feeding the discussion about the best offensive midfielder of today.
To the conquest of Best Player, Robert Lewandowski added the distinction of Best Forward, as it had to be, after the incredible run I described above in 2019/20.
As a matter of curiosity, the voting carried out for the attribution of each award delivered by UEFA is made with the contribution of 80 coaches (who were present in the final stages of the Champions League and Europa League) as well as 55 selected journalists.
The value judgements are made based on all the sporting performance in the past season, including the performance in European competitions, but also on the players performance at their local championships level as well as their performance in the national team.