Robert Lewandowski: Finalist in focus

  • Robert Lewandowski is The Best FIFA Men’s Player holder

  • He is among the three finalists for the award once again

  • We look back at the 33-year-old’s season

“I don’t think about what I’ve won, but what I can still win,” Robert Lewandowski said in an interview last year. “What makes life interesting is the things that can still happen. A new season means new hope and, with any luck, new success.” Perhaps this is the secret to the striker’s prowess and the reason why The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2020 is back on the shortlist at The Best FIFA Football Awards™ 2021. We take a look back at Lewandowski’s key moments and achievements over the past year. 

Making the difference at Qatar 2020

From the moment Bayern Munich entered the fray of the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020™, at the semi-final stage on 8 February 2021, one player in particular stood out: Robert Lewandowski. Having cleared Bayern’s passage to the final with goals against Al Ahly in the 17th and 86th minutes, his saved header fell favourably for Benjamin Pavard to net the winner in the decider. The triumph was Bayern’s sixth trophy of the season, a feat only equalled by Barcelona in 2009. Yet Lewandowski would not be Lewandowski if he were not also among the tournament’s highest scorers. He netted two of the event’s 12 goals to finish second in the goalscoring charts behind Tigres striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, who scored three times.

DOHA, QATAR - FEBRUARY 11: Manuel Neuer of FC Bayern Muenchen lifts the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 trophy after the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Tigres UANL at the Education City Stadium on February 11, 2021 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by David Ramos - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

European qualifiers for Qatar 2022

Right now, the Poland captain’s greatest wish is to play at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Lewandowski worked hard to make this dream a reality in World Cup qualification, scoring eight goals and providing four assists in the eight matches he featured in. This meant that he was involved in 12 of Poland’s 30 goals. Interestingly, Poland lost 2-1 in both of the matches Lewandowski did not play in (he missed out through injury for the game against England on 31 March 2021 and was left out of the squad against Hungary on 15 November 2021). With their talisman striker on board, in contrast, Poland recorded six wins and two draws in eight matches. All of this means that Lewandowski’s dream is still alive, with Poland set to face Russia in the semi-final of the World Cup play-offs on 24 March 2022 for a chance to reach the final, where one of three coveted tickets to Qatar will be on offer. 

 

Lewangoalski makes Bundesliga history

"Robert is in the same category as Gerd Muller," former Germany international and long-serving Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge once said. And although many envious onlookers are still not prepared to admit that the man affectionately known as Lewy can be mentioned in the same breath as the Bomber der Nation, he broke one of the legendary striker’s most important Bundesliga records during the 2020/21 season. Lewandowski found the back of the net 41 times in 29 games, beating Muller’s previous record of 40 goals in 34 matches during the 1971/72 season. The Pole still has some way to go if he is to beat the Bayern icon’s next record. Muller leads the Bundesliga’s all-time goalscoring charts with 365 goals, while Lewandowski currently has 297 top-flight goals to his name.  

Not everyone can be a striker anyway. A striker needs to have that something special – it’s not something you can learn.“

Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski in numbers

4  The prolific Bayern striker topped the Bundesliga goalscoring charts for the fourth successive season in 2020/21 – the first player ever to do so. He is currently leading the way once again this season with 20 goals.

41 With 41 goals in the 2020/21 Bundesliga, Robert Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller’s legendary record of 40 goals for a season that stood for 49 years. The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2020’s tally of 48 goals in all competitions during the campaign means that he scored more than 40 times for the sixth year in a row.

128 Lewandowski has 128 international caps and 74 goals. These figures make him both Poland’s most-capped player and record marksman.

Lewandowski in quotes

“He’s never really 100-per-cent satisfied – even when he’s scored two goals. Then he’ll say he could have scored one or two more. He has a truly clear view of himself. And his ambition is huge." Anna Lewandowski, Robert's wife,, to Bayern club magazine 51 “He’s incredibly important as the quality he has raises our level and you can see a country relying on him. He is always a very sensible boy, he always wants to perform. He knows how to make the difference and he will make the difference.” Paulo Sousa, the former Poland coach, in an interview with UEFA.com ahead of UEFA EURO 2020 "The crazy thing about Lewy is that it’s a normal thing for him to score hat-tricks and so many goals. It’s not like he has only done it for one season either.” Thomas Muller

Who will be #TheBest?

The winners in all categories, including the FIFA Fan Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award, will be crowned on 17 January 2022.

Who do you think should win this year? Share your views using the hashtag #TheBest.