Created on 01-10-2020 at 20:51 PM
Last season he spread fear and terror in opposition penalty areas and scored goals at will. Now his achievements have finally been honoured: Robert Lewandowski was named Europe's Footballer of the Year on Thursday. "It's an amazing feeling. I would like to thank the teammates and coaches I work with every day. Obviously I'd like to thank my family as well," said Lewandowski. "As a little boy I dreamed of playing in the big stadiums. Standing here now means a lot to me," continued the 32-year-old.
Lewandowski ahead of Neuer
"Robert Lewandowski is all about goals and spectacle – the things that, ultimately, excite fans so much about this sport. In my eyes he has long been the best centre forward in Europe, and he more than deserves this award," Herbert Hainer enthused. "In my opinion, we could have had two European Footballers of the Year at FC Bayern this year: Manuel Neuer would have more than deserved the award too. His performance should be rated just as highly as that of Robert Lewandowski," continued the Bayern president. Neuer ended up in second place in the poll, with Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) finishing third.
"There’s basically only one way to describe Robert: world-class. And in 2020 he was the best of all the world-class players in international football," said sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić. "He won every title and dominated every competition with his goals. He has gained even more quality by feeding off his teammates and working for the team in the coach’s system. The title of European Footballer of the Year is very much deserved. I'm very happy for him, but also for FC Bayern, because 13 months ago when we renewed his contract, we told him he could win everything with us."
Lewandowski sets the standard
"Robert Lewandowski deserves to be named European Footballer of the Year. Not just because of his goals, but because of the whole way he interprets the role of the striker, he has set the standards in our treble-winning season. It’s great he’s now receiving the appreciation he’s deserved for a long time. Manuel Neuer would have been a worthy winner as well, because he too did an incredible job," enthused coach Hansi Flick.
Treble top scorer
The Pole scored 55 goals in 47 games on the way to the 2020 treble - he only missed five games - and was the top scorer in the Bundesliga (34 goals), Champions League (15) and the DFB Cup (6). He also provided 10 assists. "We all wish Robert Lewandowski this title from the bottom of our hearts. As a team, for many years we’ve seen how hard he works on himself every day to meet the very highest standards. We’re happy for him and are certain that we will celebrate many more successes together," Manuel Neuer said of his colleague.
View the best pictures from Lewandowski's impressive year in the gallery:
“One of the most important players in the club's history”
Lewandowski has achieved something truly special: the 32-year-old is the first Pole to receive the award and after Franck Ribéry (2013), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (1980 & 1981), Franz Beckenbauer (1976 & 1972) and Gerd Müller (1970) the fifth Munich player to be named Europe's Footballer of the Year. "He is one of the most important players in the club's history," said Hainer.
Hansi Flick was named Europe's Coach of the Year at the event: