The fact that Robert Lewandowski, the Polish-born striker who plays for Bayern Munich, wasn’t awarded this year’s Ballon d’Or is nothing short of scandalous.
The 33-year-old goal-scoring machine has been doing his thing now for a number of years. In fact, over the last five years, according to Sportingbet’s summary of the deadliest strikers in Europe, he was in second place with 147 goals scored in the last five seasons, behind the top goal scorer, 34-year-old Lionel Messi, who had amassed 158 goals in the same period.
However, not only did Lewandowski score more goals in the 2019-2020 season (34 against Lionel Messi’s 25), but in the 2020-2021 season, the Pole scored 41 goals against Lionel Messi’s 30. That in itself would see the 33-year-old level on 188 club league goals, but it was the fashion in doing so that makes Lewandowski achievement even more incredible.
The Pole set a new Bundesliga single-season gold record in the last match of the season by finding the back of the net for the first 41st time. It broke record Gerd Muller’s previous record of 40 goals which has stood unsurpassed for the last 49 years.
Amazingly, Lewandowski managed his spectacular tally, having missed 3 games due to injury. Had he played those 3 games as well, who knows how high the new bar would have been set?
The Pole hasn’t stopped this year either. Whereas Lionel Messi has suffered a pretty disastrous start to the new season, following his forced departure from Barcelona to new club Paris St Germain, Lewandowski is back carrying out business as normal. He has already scored 19 goals this season for Bayern Munich, putting him top of the European Golden Shoe standings 2021/2022.
It doesn’t stop there either. He is also the leading goal scorer in this season’s Champions League competition with 10 goals.
There is no doubt that Lionel Messi’s record-breaking seventh Ballon d’Or award is in itself a magnificent achievement, but how much of that is down to sentimentality, a reflection of what happened to the Argentinian wizard in the infamous transfer forced on him by Barcelona, the club he had served faithfully all of his professional career.
Messi has had a slow start with new club PSG and, so far, has only scored 6 goals to date – one in Ligue 1 and five in the Champions League.
There is no doubting the quality of Lionel Messi’s footballing talent, but given what has taken place last season and so far this season, surely the Ballon d’Or award should have gone to Robert Lewandowski?
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