Awards for Lewandowski and Heynckes

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Robert Lewandowski has been voted VDV Player of the Season by his fellow professionals for a third time. The players' union announced the top goalscorer at FCB received 27.7 per cent of the votes. Another FC Bayern player, James Rodríguez, was runner-up (13.8 Per cent) -- in his first season in the Bundesliga. Schalke defender Naldo (8 per cent) was third. Another Champion of Germany was top of the coach rankings. Jupp Heynckes picked up an impressive 36.7 per cent of the votes to finish ahead of Schalke boss Domenico Tedesco (25 per cent) and his successor Niko Kovac (18.1) in second and third place respectively.

Thiago receives royal approval

Here we go. Thiago and his Spain team-mates flew out to Russia on Thursday for the World Cup finals. There was a special farewell before the plane took off from Madrid. Thiago & Co. received a visit from the King of, Philip VI, at the training centre in La Rozas (just outside Madrid). La Roja are looking to repeat the title win of 2010 in Russia with the help of royal backing. They face Portugal, Iran and Morocco in the group stage.