The career of Robert Lewandowski risks ending without having lifted a Golden Ball. Not bad, it will be thought, for a player who has won an edition of the Champions League with Bayern Munich in his career as well as a very long amount, constantly updated, of German national titles, including championships and Cups.
After all, there are those who have never won the Ballon d’Or despite being unanimously considered the number one in history in their role, such as Gigi Buffon, or even those who could not do it simply because in their own time… they could not have done it, for simple regulatory reasons, such as Diego Maradona, given that only since 1995 has the trophy been open to non-European players who play in Europe.
Ballon d’Or 2021, Robert Lewandowski is only second
Still, the failure to award the prize to the Polish center forward in 2021 was almost unanimously regarded as a ‘injustice. On the night of the proclamation of Lionel Messi, winner of the seventh Golden Ball of his career and the return to the podium of an Italian, Jorginho, third, 15 years after the triumph of Fabio Cannavaro, the Argentine champion himself seemed “embarrassed”, spending himself in public praise for Lewandowski during the same awards ceremony.
What was declared by Lionel Messi is universally shared, namely that the Ballon d’Or 2020, if it had not been canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, would have gone to Lewandowski. However, the second place in 2021 should not be read as a “compensation”Against the Bayern Munich center forward, since the data show how the former Borussia Dortmund could have easily aspired to lift the trophy even for what has been done in the calendar year that is about to end. And also in comparison with Messi himself.
Robert Lewandowski Missed Golden Ball: Poland’s “faults”
In fact, if the discriminating factor for the judges was the different path with their national teams in the two events of the calendar year, with Messi winning the America’s Cup with Argentina after 28 years of fasting in the Seléccion and Lewandowski rejected with Poland in Euro 2020 already at the end of the group stage, it must be said that Robert did everything possible at the European Championship, scoring all four goals scored by Poland and in general scoring 11 goals in as many appearances for his national team in the calendar year, including qualifiers at the World Cup which saw the Poland of coach Paulo Sousa qualify for the play-offs, as happened to Italy.
Robert has in fact scored 64 goals, friendlies excluded, in the 64 games played in 2021 between clob and the national team, making him the best scorer in the Bundesliga, where Lewandowski also managed to beat the historic record of Gerd Muller relating to goals scored in a single season (41 in 2020-2021 against 40 in 1972 by the legend of Bayern and the German national team, who died in the summer) and in the Champions League and 15 more than the second in the standings, Erling Haaland.
Champions League 2021, none like Robert Lewandowski
But if another of the meters of judgment to assign the Ballon d’Or concerns the performance in the Uefa demonstrations with their own clubs, here too the Lewandowski-Messi confrontation is overwhelming, because it will also be true that Bayern failed to defend the 2020 title, being eliminated in the quarters by PSG, but Barcelona did worse (going out with the same opponent already in the second round) also because of Messi’s not exciting performances: for both, six appearances and five goals in the last edition.
Lewandoski, however, managed to find the goal in each of the ninth Champions League appearances last season, equaling his own record of the 2019-2020 vintage, a feat that was only successful Cristiano Ronaldo e Ruud van Nistelrooy, and therefore not to Messi, but on one occasion and not in two like the Pole.
Finally, the most eloquent data in the comparison with Messi concerns the total number of shots on goal in the calendar year: 185 for Lewandowski, fourth behind Ronaldo (199), Messi (192) and Lorenzo Insigne (187), but none had the quality of Robert’s shot, with an average of 0.26 expected goals compared to Messi’s 0.14 and Ronaldo and at 0.13 of Insigne.
Numbers that give justice to the extraordinary quality of the Bayern Munich forward, but that will not give him the trophy and that confirm once again that in the awarding of the prize and in the votes, allure and fame count more than the performance he had during the season . But after all, Robert’s career is not over yet …
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